Saturday, August 01, 2009

The First of a Series from Matthias Media: Guidebooks for Life

A Sinner’s Guide to Holiness
by John Chapman

As Favourably Reviewed by Kamal Weerakoon...

Holiness is one of those topics that’s easy to make people feel guilty about (the other two are prayer and daily Bible reading…!)

Because it’s so easy to make Christians feel guilty about holiness, it’s also tempting to offer quick solutions.

I’m sure anyone could publish a book titled “ten practical steps to sure-fire holiness”, and the Christian public would gobble it up.

John Chapman’s book is nothing like that. He refuses to play the guilt card. Nor does he give you ten easy steps to holiness.

This book has four sections.

First, Chappo shows us how a life of holiness begins with repentance and faith in Christ.

Second, he shows how a life of holiness consists of continued repentance and continued faith in Christ.

Third, he gives us the glorious vision of our future with Christ.

Hmmm… looks like Chappo thinks that holiness is about Christ.

It’s not about our efforts, it’s not about trying harder or going through some second experience of God‘s holiness or anything like that.

In the fourth section of the book, Chappo warns us against such attractive short-cuts, and exposes them as dead-ends.

Holiness is found in Christ – enjoying his benefits, and becoming more and more like him. If you get nothing else from this book, understand that.

This, I think, is the big idea of Chappo’s book: holiness is all about Christ.

Chappo has a gift for making complicated things really simple.

This book is no exception. It’s short and very easy to read.

Chappo writes with his classic easy-going style, with plenty of verbal illustrations and a couple of roll-on-the-floor-laughing stories.

One thing, though. This book doesn’t have detailed instructions about how to overcome particular sins or unhelpful habits.

It’s full of exhortations, but remains at a fairly general level.

So, if you feel trapped in some sin, and you’re discouraged by your own weakness, and you come to this book looking for fast answers… you might be disappointed.

It’d be a good thing to have a book that tells us how to deal with particular sins and sinful habits.

Vanity, greed, pornography… they need to be discussed, and we need to learn strategies to avoid them.

But that’s not what this book sets out to do.

It’s meant to give you the broad biblical framework for the subject, and helps you work out for yourself what it means, without pretending to have quick, easy answers.

To this end, the book comes with extensive Bible quotes in the text itself, and a discussion guide at the back.

The best way to use this book, I think, is to read it with one other Christian brother or sister whom you trust, and discuss frankly with each other what changes the two of you need to make.

Husbands and wives, perhaps you could read it together, and think about your family life – what would it mean for the two of you, and your children, to be holy?

This is the first of a new series from Matthias Media, Guidebooks for Life.

Guidebooks are meant to take you places.

This book will take us on an exciting, dangerous journey – a journey of being more and more holy, more and more like Christ.

Review taken from:

Enjoy a free sample of John Chapman's book "A Sinners Guide To Holiness," in pdf format by clicking here. (Kindly right-click for the option to open the link in a new window.)

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