Wednesday, 27 August 2014

book 8

Reviewed for the British Church Newspaper. 

Title of the Book: Humility the forgotten virtue
Author: Wayne Mack with Joshua Mack
Publisher: Presbyterian and Reformed
Publisher's address or where the book may be obtained:
Year of publication: 2005
Number of pages: 180
Hardback or paperback: Paperback
Price: None indicated
ISBN: 13: 978-0-87552-639-3

They say that humility is a virtue that once you know you have it, then you have lost it. The author himself mobilises this well used observation. However, as the title of this book suggests, the answer does not lie in forgetting about this virtue of which God has so much to say. At the end of the book, the author lists well over 100 verses and passages from Holy Scripture relating to this virtue as well as seeking to draw the lessons from many of them in the main body.

The contents of this book, which is based on the New American Standard Version, are drawn from a series of studies which the author gave to his people at the Grace Fellowship Church of the Lehigh Valley (PA) The sermonic element is evident as you read which detracted for me a little from the flow of the book, but which might be helpful to those who find it harder to concentrate. The author tackles both pride and humility, dividing his studies under four main alliterated headings: [i] A Biblical definition of what pride and humility are. [ii] How pride and humility display themselves [iii] How humility can be developed [iv] How pride can be diminished. At the end of each of the seven chapters, there are application/discussion exercises which can be quite lengthy and probing. In the foreword, Joel Beeke says that if we read the book, answer the questions, reread the book and take it seriously, if the Spirit blesses it to our hearts, then there will be spiritual growth. I do not doubt him.

The author backs up his various thoughts with quotations from and references to various figures from church history. Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress is utilised in the opening chapter while there are several quotations from evangelicals like CH Spurgeon and a liberal like CS Lewis. Others quoted and/or referred to include Jonathan Edwards and William Carey.

Overall, I feel this is a book worth getting. Pride has eaten its way into all our hearts. If it remains unchecked, then we will pay a heavy price for failure to forsake this sin which God abominates. This book will go a long way to helping us in the battle.

Colin Maxwell

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