Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Saudi, Inc.




This book is being released in a paperback edition on September 10th, so I figured I'd re-post this review (I've been wanting to read it again and am planning on doing that with one of my sisters who I think will enjoy it as well):

 I don't know that I would have EVER thought that a book about the Kings of Saudi Arabia and an oil company would have been interesting. But this book is! I don't just mean that the book is well written (it is) but Wald actually seems very enthusiastic about the topic and that carries over to the reader.  Or at least it did to me. I almost want to laugh at myself for how interesting and intriguing I found this book, "SAUDI, INC. The Arabian Kingdom's Pursuit of Profit and Power" by Ellen R. Wald.

Abdul Aziz, or ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia (never realized where the name came from, sort of a 'duh' moment when I found that out: SAUD-i Arabia) was quite an interesting guy.  He started out by conquering his hometown of Riyadh and then ended up growing his territory over time until he had even conquered Mecca.  He and Sheikh Abdullah Sulaiman, the man he put in charge of his finances (also an interesting character), made quite the team to build up the Kingdom and solidify its well-being for the future. That was one of Aziz's goals, to ensure the continuation of his Kingdom.  In order to even continue as a kingdom, he needed money, very badly.   This is where oil comes into the picture.

Americans thought that Saudi Arabia might be a potential source of oil and so they requested permission to search for it. King Saud did not expect their search to be successful, but he saw a financial opportunity in this. He could charge the Americans a fee to search his country for it and also obtain rent from their premises, and then royalties from oil sales, if there was any to be found.  Even if the Americans didn't find oil, his own country would still get something out of it.

 Lo, and behold, after much searching and near failure, a significant source of oil was found. Four American companies ultimately teamed up to work in Saudi Arabia.  They renamed the company, calling it the Arabian American Oil Company, or Aramco.   Along with American oil operations came American equipment, American housing structures for the workers, an airport, hospital and power plant and other American luxuries.  The King wanted those things for his country.  He had more money than he had ever had before, thanks to Aramco.  Though Saudi Arabia did not have the ability, as of yet, to build these things for itself, they could pay foreign venders to do it for them.  Saudi Arabia was so successful in their modernization that Abdul Aziz was invited to extend his rule to other places, though he declined the offer. Ruling the territory he currently had was already a tough enough challenge.

This historical account does not merely focus on the Sauds and Aramco at a high level.  Wald zooms in, as it were, on the individual lives of many of the characters involved, using their stories to help move the book along.  You'll learn about the Saudi Kings:  the beloved founder Ibn Saud, and his sons who succeeded him, all of whom had unique personalities of their own.  Saud and Feisal, for instance, were opposites in personality.  King Saud - was a bad governor and a spendthrift who loved luxury.  He was, somewhat forcibly, persuaded to give up his government to his brother Feisal, was a much better ruler.

You'll also learn about non Royal Saudi Arabians,  Aramco employees, and American Ambassadors who, at the beginning of the Aramco and Saudi relationship, often had to act as intermediators between the company and the Kings of Saudi Arabia.  Wald often repeats who these people are, by mentioning what their job or position is, or by giving you a reminder about their background which can trigger your memory as to their identity.  I really appreciate that as I often have a hard time keeping characters straight in my head.

Wald demonstrates how wise the Sauds were in their being willing to acknowledge that other countries were more modern than they and in their being willing to learn from those countries. They had foreign companies and workers come in and do the work while they learned until they were finally able to take over themselves.  Ultimately the Sauds were able to take over Aramco itself by means of this strategy. Instead of forcibly nationalizing the foreign oil company, as some other countries had done, the Sauds were very patient and were willing to wait.  They eventually even started having more and more young Saudi Arabians educated in other countries to increase their knowledge and to have more to contribute to their society when they returned. By the time the Sauds completely took over Aramco they were more ready than other countries, who had acted in haste, to run the oil industry themselves.

The book ends at the beginning of the reign of King Salman (2015) and does not deal with later plans of Saudi Arabia like Vision 2030, but the whole book gives you the history of the development of Saudi Arabia, which development and growth would eventually lead up to that plan and it gives you the big picture of the Saud mindset of always looking to the future.  The Sauds are still looking to the future, they want to stay in the energy business and realize that oil will not stay a major source of energy forever and so they are making other plans to ensure that they will be a long-term relevant energy source.

 As indicated at the beginning of this review, I found that Wald writes very well, her book really kept my interest. Some other books dealing with history are horribly boring, some so much so that I didn't finish reading them.  Boring history books just seem as though they are merely reciting a bunch of facts, and after a while the continued recitation of various names, dates and events becomes quite dull and very hard to retain in one's memory. Wald, on the other hand tries to get you to picture the people, their personalities, their thoughts and the events and circumstances in which they are involved. She uses excerpts of historical quotations and recollections of many of the people involved in order to do this.  She truly seems to find her topic interesting and seems to have worked hard to make it interesting to the reader.

Very well written, intriguing and even fascinating.  Wald really drew me in to the history, and she might draw you in too, even though it is just a book about oil and Kings.

I received a complimentary Advanced Reading Copy of this book from the publisher for review. My review did not have to be favorable. Many thanks to Pegasus Books!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
*****


You may purchase this book at Amazon.com in a hardback edition, paperback(released the 10th of this month) and Kindle edition.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Trinity Without Hierarchy edited by Michael F. Bird and Scott Harrower.




I have noticed, recently, that there is some sort of proposition going around (particularly in relation to man/woman husband/wife relationships) that the Trinity does not have any authoritative order, especially, that there is no subordination among the Persons of the Trinity.   When I received a notice that I could get a review copy of this book of collected essays by many people: Trinity Without Hierarchy: Reclaiming Nicene Orthodoxy in Evangelical Theology edited by Michael F. Bird and Scott Harrower , my dad wanted me to get it and look into the topic.

I did not know that there was controversy over this particular topic, and I don't believe I've ever really considered it before.  I unconsciously have always assumed that God the Son does the will of God the Father, and that that is something that has always been the case, as that is what a basic reading of the Scriptures teaching on the Godhead seems to indicate.    After going through this book, I don't see any Scripturally compelling reason to change that viewpoint.  If you do not understand exactly what this viewpoint entails, you'll get the gist in my critique.

It seems that the main reason all this argument has come on the scene is because some evangelicals have been using the relationship of the Trinity to argue for complementarianism among the sexes. I agree, for the most part, with the authors of these articles that that is not a hermeneutically valid argument. The Trinity's relationship to each other does not necessitate human beings relating to each other in the same way.  

TRINITY NOT EQUAL IF THERE IS AUTHORITY AND SUBMISSION

I think the most compelling argument  they offer is that the Trinity is One and therefore there can be no significant differences among the Persons of the Godhead.  But, when looking at their arguments, I see some of the logic of it but I don't see it as overwhelmingly compelling biblically. 

Let me give you some quotations from the book to demonstrate some of their arguments and I'll comment on them:

"…To assert relations of authority and submission within a single divine will is similarly impossible:  authority and submission require a diversity of volitional faculties.  Where there is one single will, there can necessarily be no authority or submission."
 In other Words, we know that God the Father and the Son are one, have the exact same will and therefore there cannot be said to be authority or submission in that divine relationship. Now for my commentary:  I'm not sure that that is actually the case. Let me give you an illustration to demonstrate how that type of argument sounds to me: If a wife always agrees with every decision her husband makes, because he is her husband, and wants to do whatever his will is in everything, it isn't actually submission because she never disagrees with him? If she agrees with him in what he wants to do and submits to it, her husband doesn't actually have authority and she isn't actually submitting? I don't think that one can say that the husband has no authority and the wife is not submissive simply because the wife always obeys the husband and wants to do the same thing He does. 

I don't see how it is bionically inaccurate to say that God the Son willingly submits to God the Father because He is God the Father.  I don't see that Christ's complete willingness to do the Father's will indicates that Christ is not obeying the Father and that the Father is not authoritative. 

And my second quotation from the book, which is actually a quotation of a quotation that the author of this particular chapter makes about the Trinity, "neither with regard to nature nor activity is any distinction beheld".
Let me list some questions I have in regard to this statement which really make me reluctant to agree with it:

When the Son said, "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken Me?" (Matt 27:46), Did God the Father say the same thing to the Son? Say the Same thing to the Holy Spirit?  Did Christ and the Holy Spirit also separate from the Father? Forsake Him? Did the Father and Christ forsake the Holy Spirit?

When the Son says, "Not My will but Thine, be done"(Luke 22:42), does the Father at any point also say, "Not My Will but the Son's be done?"

At the end of time, God the Father puts everything under God the Son's feet (1 Cor 15:27). Does God the Father ever put everything under the Holy Spirit?  We also find that the Son Himself is then subjected to God the Father and the Bible makes it very clear that it is not a vice-versa thing. God the Father is NOT subjected to God the Son:  "Then  comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when he has brought to an end all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be eliminated is death. For he has put everything in subjection under his feet.  But when it says 'everything' has been put in subjection, it is clear that this does not include the one who put everything in subjection to him. And when all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all."(1 Corinthians 15:27-28 NET)

Some of the writers, to varying degrees, seem to concede some sort of submission but only as a part of the Trinity's plan to save people did Christ submit to the Father. But they seem to think that it wasn't quite God the Son who submitted.  At least that's what they seem to be saying.   It is posited that Jesus had a human will and a divine will and that "the human will of the Son is subordinate to the divine will." But can we actually separate His human will from His divine will? Where are we ever told that there was a discrepancy between Christ's human will and His divine one? Where are we ever given an indication that Christ ever had a Romans 7-like scenario? I know, I know, people will say, "in the Garden of Gethsemane!" (Luke 22:42).  But I see no Biblical reason to believe that that was actually God the Son in His humanity speaking separately from His Divinity.  Why would we assume that Jesus' flesh EVER 'took over' or 'manifested itself' over against His Divinity? Don't we believe that Christ's humanity was completely untainted by sin? That even His human nature, his flesh, did not include a tendency to sin?

To show how the book carries the thought further let me give you another quote: "It is Christ's humanity that will submit to the Father, not Christ's divinity." Jesus submitted His human will to the Father but not His divine will?  I am very, very nervous about that statement.  I see what they are trying to do, but I don't know that they have a biblical right to say that.  Why would we assume that when God the Son, embodied in flesh, ever speaks of Himself He isn't necessarily speaking of His WHOLE self, His 'real' Self, but merely of His physicality? It seems almost a direct contradiction to the texts about the Son talking about His submission to the Father to assert or think that He Himself wasn't actually submissive, that it was just His flesh that was subordinate.  Besides, wouldn't that make God the Son not 'wholly man', so His divinity is not actually joined with flesh? Couldn't it be used to say also that, when people are worshiping Christ, they are worshiping His humanity, not His divinity? That only God the Son, DISEMBODIED, is truly God?

"Eternal submission is to misunderstand the Son, and therefore diminish his glory, power and will…"  Who says? Where does the Bible say this? How does submitting to the Father diminish Christ's glory? It was veiled during the incarnation, but He always had it, right?  How does it diminish His power? His power over God the Father? Does it diminish the Son's will because the Father's will is done and not His in particular(even though the Scripture indicates that He wants the Father's will done)?

ETERNAL BEGOTTENESS OF THE SON BY THE FATHER

Another concept that is propounded throughout the book is the eternal 'generating' of the Son by the Father. It's a proposition of what we are actually supposed to be deducing from the terms "Father" and "Son" in the Godhead. The writers of this book seem to think that, though God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have always been God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, those terms specifically have reference to origin, not hierarchy.  That the Father eternally generates, or begets, the Son. "For the pro-Nicenes, the Father was 'first' among the three persons of the Trinity.  He is the one who generates the Son and who spirates 'the Spirit'."The Son was always eternally generated, eternally begotten by the Father before He was physically begotten in the flesh.  This is pretty much, solely, according to this book, the only thing we are to glean from the terms "Father" and "Son" in the Trinity.  As one of the essay writers puts it:  ""…there is nothing other than eternal generation that we can say of the Father-Son relation."

I don't understand how that is so definitive. Why is it that they can dogmatically say that the terms "Father" and "Son" only have reference to 'generation' and that they absolutely, positively, CANNOT possibly have reference to a hierarchy?  What if they actually do? What if that's EXACTLY what we are to understand about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? What if they really do mean that, though the Son is of the same essence as the Father, He is subordinate to the Father? And that both can be true at the same time? The New Testament presents that viewpoint, it indicates that God the Son submits to God the Father.

IS SUBMISSION GLORIOUS?
That leads me to another question, several questions, actually:  Is submission glorious? Can we say that it is not? Seeing that the Son humbled Himself and yet did not need to 'grasp' glory, as it were, because it was already His?   Is submission to the Father not a natural part of the divine Son's character? Why do we assume the Son is lesser if He eternally obeys the will of the Father? Isn't the Son doing a glorious thing in submitting to the Father? The Bible seems to plainly indicate that the Son's submission to the Father is a glorious, not a demeaning, thing.

Do we actually believe that there should be NO paradoxes in our understanding of God? That we should be able to completely understand everything about Him? That nothing about Him will go beyond our comprehension? The Bible seems to indicate that all the Persons of the Trinity are One and yet that having authority and submission among the Godhead does not negate that equality. 

Can we take everything the Bible says about God in simple faith, not having to understand everything about Him but simply believing that what God says about Himself is true?  And that everything God the Son, even in His incarnate state, says about Himself, is also true, and true about His whole Self, not merely about His physical self, even if it boggles our minds? Shouldn't we take Him at His Word?

When Christ says, "I and the Father are One" (John 10:30) and, "The Father is Greater than I" (John 14:28), Shouldn't our first response be to assume that both statements are wholly true of Him and not merely of His physical body but of His Divine nature as well?  And shouldn't we assume that, without our having to fully understand it, the Father being greater than the Son does not diminish the Son's glory or take away from His Oneness with the Father? 


CREEDS: THE AUTHORITY FOR OUR FAITH?

The book seems to make the case that Ancient 'Christian' Creeds and traditions are a part of forming our faith. That we ought not to depart from the writings and traditions of the early Christians who lived after the time of the Apostles.  I'll give you an example of what I am talking about by quoting the book again:
 "I am aware that some involved in defending EFS have also denied eternal generation; I do not have much to say about that except that to deny eternal generation is certainly to deny the doctrine of the Trinity, and, given that 'eternally begotten of the Father' is a confession of the Nicene Creed, is in grave danger of departing from what can meaningfully be called Christianity - it is, once again, to side with Unitarians and Jehovah's Witnesses in claiming that the Christian doctrine of God is unbiblical."

So if we depart from the conclusions and interpretations of ancient professing Christian writers we are departing from Christianity?  We can't just use the Bible, we have to agree with the interpretations of the Bible written by ancient professing Christians? This might sound horrible to say, but the Nicene Creed is not something that I hold to.  I don't think I even knew what it said before I read this book, and even then I don't remember a lot of it (don't think I could quote any of what I read verbatim), and I don't know what the whole thing says, but I don't feel guilty about that. The Nicene Creed, the Westminster Confession, the London Baptist Confession…etc. are not, and never have been the Biblical measurement of faith.  And I think that's rather obvious as they do not form a part of the canon of Scripture. 

The writers of this compilation of essays seem dangerously close to canonizing the Nicene Creed.  I know that they would deny it, but, as saw from the above quotation,  they really seem to exalt it's authority.   I think that L. S. Chafer warned us well when he said: "It is a bad indication when, in any period, men will so exalt their confessions that they force the Scriptures to a secondary importance, illustrated in one era, when as Tulloch remarks: 'Scripture as a witness, disappeared behind the Augsburg Confession' ...No decrees of councils; no ordinances of synods; no 'standard' of doctrines; no creed or confession, is to be urged as authority in forming the opinions of men. They may be valuable for some purposes, but not for this; they may be referred to as interesting parts of history, but not to form the faith of Christians; they may be used in the church to express its belief, not to form it."

I must admit, this argument about the Trinity is a topic I'm nervous about as it seems too easy to come to a wrong conclusion about God, to be dogmatic where the Scripture is silent, going beyond the bounds of revelation. But I’m really scared of where these people are going with their argument as their foundation seems to be the Nicene Creed.  In the book, one of the writers states:  "It may be that EFS/ERAS is biblical and correct, but if it is, the classical Christian tradition of orthodox Trinitarians must inevitably be unbiblical and wrong."  But that shouldn't drastically shake us up because our faith shouldn't be based in the "classical Christian tradition" anyway, but in God's written Word.

Many thanks to the folks at Kregel Academic for providing me with a free review copy of this book (My review did not have to be favorable) 

My Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars
*
This book may be purchased at Christianbook.com and Amazon.com

Friday, August 2, 2019

Rediscovering Scripture's Vision for Women - By Lucy Peppiatt




Rediscovering Scripture's Vision For Women: Fresh Perspectives on Disputed Texts by Lucy Peppiatt is a book that, as the title indicates, attempts to look at Scriptures teachings of God's plan for women. 

As you may have guessed, these "fresh" perspectives ultimately attempt to lead the reader to think that Christian women do not need to keep silent in the church, can pastor churches, don't need to submit to their husbands…etc.  I have read some of it outloud to many of my sisters (I have seven sisters) and they were all joining me in criticizing the claims of this book.

Let me deal with some of her claims.  First, her view of 1 Corinthians 11.  I find part of her introduction to her interpretation ironic:  "My own research has led me to study these verses in detail and to discover that the more obvious meaning of the text causes consternation and embarrassment among many, and even causes others to question Paul's understanding here."  So, of course the obvious reading can't be right if people are dismayed and embarrassed about it?  Anyway, she says that some believe these verses tell us that males are in the image and glory of God more than women, which she says cannot be true since Genesis tells us that both are said to be in the image of God.  This can be answered very simply:  One of my sisters pointed out that it only says that woman is the "glory of man" it doesn't say that she is his image and thus does not discount her still being the image of God.

 Anyway, After dealing with the problems she has with the "hierchialist view" the author asks, "Is it possible to salvage a better meaning out of these verses?"  Her "better meaning" is quite shocking to me.  She thinks that chunks of verses are just Paul repeating erroneous beliefs that the Corinthians held about man/woman relationships and that he's correcting those.  She doesn't give an exegetical reason, just gives you an edited (with italics and other punctuation) quotation of this section of Paul's letter to demonstrate how, in her view, it should be read.  And then she goes on to just assume you accepted that explanation.  No exegetical basis other than she thinks that Paul couldn't be saying what these texts, obviously, say.  She has a book written on 1 Corinthians 11, so perhaps she gets more detailed in that, but it certainly warrants a fuller explanation in this book.

Another one of her arguments is (as I understood her to be saying) that there is no subordination among the Persons of the Trinity.  Since the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all of the same 'substance', all one God, then there can't be such a thing as 'authority' or subordination in the Trinity and therefore one shouldn't think that Christ set an example of submission that could be followed by wives.   I'll give one example: "It is true that Paul claims in 1 Corinthians 15 that at the end of time, God will be 'all in all,' and speaks of Christ being made subject to God (1 Corinthians 15: 28.  However, this is also in the context of the idea that all authority in Heaven and earth has been handed over to the son…Christ emerges triumphant at the end of time, having put everything under his feet.  This powerful picture of Jesus Christ is not quite the loving, courageous submission that is referred to in a few verses of Philippians 2 in relation to the incarnation….."   She seems to think that this means that God the Father is also put under Christ's feet! Excuse me?  This does not mean that the Father then submits to the Son. 

Texts like 1 Peter 3:1-7, are negated because, though Peter does tell wives to submit to their husbands, all Christians are supposed to submit to each other.  So that, of course, cancels out any command to wives to submit to their husbands.  Her reasoning is absurd!  Read just a few verses here:

"For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord…"(1Pe 3:5-6 ESV)

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord…."(Eph 5:22ESV)

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
(Eph 5:24 ESV)

These texts are very clear, very specific commands to wives that they are specifically to submit to, not their fathers or mothers, not their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, but they are to submit to their husbands in particular and look on him as their authority:

Peppiatt makes the claim that if men and women don't have the same earthly roles then there is "literally nothing to show for the claim that she has been saved into coequality with a man." This is might sound strange, but, there being no males or females in Christ does not mean that there are no male or female Christians.

The Bible does not indicate that salvation erases lineage or ethnicity (Paul emphasized in Romans 9-12 that God has a special plan to save Israel, an ethnic people, sometime in the future),and it does not indicate that our sex is erased at salvation. There being no male, female, Jew, Gentile, etc… in Christ simply means that we are all saved the same way: by the grace of God through the faith that He gives us.  We are not saved because of our works,  because of our sex, nor are we saved because of our societal position or ethnicity.  If you take it the way Peppiatt reads it, then we'd also have to assume that there are no children, parents, bosses, no political governors or any leaders in Christ.  "Children obey your parents" would be crazy because parents and children don't exist in Christ and children should not be required to submit to their brothers and sisters in Christ.  I’m talking absurdly here, I know, but this is how I see her reasoning playing out if brought to its logical conclusion.

The Bible NEVER indicates that everything physical about us is erased at our salvation, rather it seems to do just the opposite and shows us how we can utilize our God-ordained physical position for the Lord.  Remember, we are told by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians that " we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."(Eph 2:10).  Why do we seem to think that these "good works" are all going to be exactly the same for everyone? Why do we think that it wouldn't be "fair" if God gives particular groups of people particular works? Actually, wouldn't that be rather special? To think that God put me in a specific physical circumstance and has given me particular good works to do in that circumstance!

God HAS given particular people groups special works to do.  There are particular good works for Men, Women, Husbands, Wives, Fathers, Children, Slaves, Masters, Older Women, Pastors, elders, citizens…etc. and good works for everyone in general.  Our particular roles/good works may be hard, and our general good works are hard too, but that's where faith comes in, where dying to self comes in, where we take up our particular cross and follow our Lord.   

Remember what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12? I'll quote some of it:  "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' that would not make it any less a part of the body…."(1Co 12:12-15)  As a woman I might say, "Because I am not a man, I do not belong to the body" Or, "Because I must keep quiet and not pastor a congregation I am not a part of the body".  Nope, I am still a part of the body even though I have a different role.  Paul goes on: "If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose."(1Co 12:17-18)  We all are still unique in the body of Christ, with God ordained unique roles and positions. 

Peppiatt's 'exegesis' seems to consist in implanting doubt in people's minds as to how understandable Scripture actually is.  She really seems to desire to implant into our minds that what Scripture seems to be clearly, "obviously" saying might actually be obscure.    She focuses in on individual words and demonstrates that they can have a variety of meanings, and therefore the meaning that is normally fixed upon by most Bible translators is not necessarily the right one. She does the same with texts and passages as a whole: The obvious meaning is not necessarily the right one.  This really seems like a "Has God said?"(Genesis 3) scenario.  Peppiatt's hermeneutic is dangerous.  It can easily be utilized (and probably is used) by those who deny a literal six-day creation, those who view Christ as a mere man and not God incarnate, it could be used by children to justify their disobeying their parents, and could mess with salvation itself by lending to the proclaiming of "another Gospel" (Gal 1:8).

The author of this book has a very clear bias against the "obvious" meaning of Scripture texts that talk about women's  roles in Christ.  She says, "I encourage all Christian married couples to break away from and reject any expectation that the husband should occupy an authoritative role and the wife a submissive one…"    Remember, the Apostle Paul indicates that the husband and wife relationship is a picture of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5), the church is supposed to submit to Christ.  Christ does not submit to the church. We do not tell Him what to do, He tells us, We do not lead Him, He leads us. Husbands and wives mess up the picture when they do not follow their God given roles.  Wives submitting to their husbands, in particular, is emphasized in the Scriptures and treated very seriously. 

I'll sum this all up:  In this book, Peppiatt is doing exactly the opposite of what the Scriptures say older women are to teach young wives, "train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sober-minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."(Tit 2:4-5 ASV)  Wives are given a particular duty by God: submission to their husbands.  This duty is to be taken VERY seriously so as not to cause the Word of God to be blasphemed, or discredited.

I have particular instructions given to me as a single woman.  I am not given the role of pastor or teacher of the congregation, I am to keep quiet and listen submissively.  Might it be hard to do sometimes? Sure! But again, that's where faith comes in, and faith isn't usually easy. Listening submissively in church is one of the particular good works that Scripture CLEARLY tells me in particular, to do,  therefore I know for sure that it's one of the particular works that God has "ordained" for me to "walk in".   It's not demeaning, it is special, it gives me a special role in the body of Christ, a special work of submission I can do to glorify Him. 


I received a free review copy of this book from InterVarsity Press.  My review did not have to be favorable.


My rating: 1 out of 5 Stars
*  

This book may be purchased at Amazon.com

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Christian Mission: A Concise Global History - Edward Smither




Christian Mission: A Concise Global History by Edward Smither is a book gives the history of the spread of the Gospel by professing Christians.  It follows it spreading down through the years through various continents.  Each chapter deals with different time periods of its spreading: "Mission in the Early Church", "Mission in the Medieval church", "Mission in the Early Modern Church"…etc.  It was quite interesting to learn about various people God used in its spread it.  I also loved the maps, they were very interesting in and of themselves, Maps showing the Roman Empire, Territories and Voyages of the Vikings, and one showing the colonization of Africa after the "Berlin Conference of 1884"" I didn't realize that European countries had control of pretty much the whole of Africa as one map showed the colonization of Africa by Europe, France, Belguim..etc.

I found it very interesting that some  of the early missionaries were simply Christian merchants giving out the Gospel as they went about their business.

But there were several things that made me not very fond of the book overall.  First, from various things the author says, he seems to believe that Roman Catholicism promotes the true Gospel.  I didn't understand that.  Just because someone believes that the Bible teaches the Word of God, believes in the Trinity and that Christ provides salvation does not mean that they are saved or that they are preaching or believing the saving Gospel.  You can preach a false Gospel that promotes the Bible, to some degree, includes the Trinity and Jesus dying for the sins of mankind.  I don't doubt that  there could be and were some true Christians within the Roman Catholic church structure, but it's in spite of it, not because they promote the true Gospel.

This is what I understand of Roman Catholicism: they promote other mediators between God and man:  besides Christ Jesus, they have Mary and the Saints as mediators, which directly contradicts 1 Timothy 2:5:  which says that there is one mediator between God and men, Jesus Christ. I've also gathered that, you can either do your own good works to earn grace/forgiveness (like penance), and you can rely upon the good works/merit of past saints to earn you grace as well.  Otherwise you'll clean your slate in purgatory, which is still heresy as it takes away from Christ's marvelous saving grace (without our works being a part of it) and demonstrates a heretical perspective of sin, how bad it actually is (as if we could actually have the capacity to completely pay for it ourselves over any period of time).  These things are in one way or another a works based salvation which is not true salvation (Eph 2:8-9; 2 Tim 1:9; Rom 3:28…and more)

 We must remember that the Apostle Paul spoke vehemently against works based salvation and in writing to the Galatians he writes against them accepting any Gospel that does not match up with what he and the other Apostles taught and that anyone, even if it is an angel, who is teaching another Gospel was to be "Anathema"(Gal 1:6-9).

And another things I didn't like was that the Smither seems to think that organized mission movements are necessary.  He says things like, ""The sixteenth century protestant reformation did not produce a viable global missionary movement that paralleled the work of the Jesuits, who had emerged from the Catholic Reformation. - How do we explain this lack of global engagement in mission on the part of sixteenth century protestants?" and also  "A pastor has a duty to send members out as missionaries or to minister to immigrants in his community".  Where does the Bible say this? Pastors, yes, should give out the Gospel when God gives them opportunity, but their task is not to focus on unbelievers, but on believers, they are primarily to watch over the flock of God (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:1-2) .  Smithers mentions Roland Allen in this book, an Anglican missionary who ended up critiquing the way mission work was done (like having organized missions), I've read Allen's book, "The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes that Hinder It" and highly recommend it.  He challenges the assumption that we need to force and organize mission work and explains that the church will grow 'spontaneously', as it were because true Christians WILL evangelize on their own without needing a parachurch organization to do it and without a pastor needing to organize it.

As I mentioned, it is quite an interesting book, it's that the above perspectives of the author made me not like the book overall.

Many thanks to the folks at Lexham Press for sending me a free review coy of this book (My review did not have to be favorable)

My Rating 3 out of 5 Stars

This book may be purchased at Amazon.com and Christianbook.com

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Quote of the Day

(On Ephesians 1:15)
There is also gratefulness expressed in his prayer to God for their love expressed 'to all the saints'.  This gratefulness is not just for 'love' being shown and demonstrated, but that it is non-discriminatory among the 'saints' - there is not preferring one above another (Just as a parent is heartened to see their children loving each other equally and not neglecting some)  Knowing what we already know (of what God has done on our behalf) and the uniting us together into one purpose as family (and as a 'team', our understanding of this will draw us toward each other as fellow beneficiaries of God's grace, called to a special purpose together. It is not our distinctions that unite us,but our common likeness (in Christ) and our unified calling - we have the same purpose and so find our love for one another understandable.

- Don Lambert
From his Ephesians sermon series:  http://www.dansvillebaptist.org/ephesians.html

See more quotes on my quote collection blog: https://snickerdoodlesquotes.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The British Are Coming - by Rick Atkinson




This book is the first of a trilogy of the American Revolution.  I am reading it aloud with my sister, we haven't finished it yet (are halfway through), but I want to write a review now as I know the book is just being released and I want to recommend it.  We are really enjoying it.   

The book takes you chapter by chapter through the war, each usually focusing on a different place either in America or other countries (Canada and Britain).  The book takes you, in a detailed way, through the war.  Focusing on various battles, moving you around the scope of the war so that you can observe the various conflicts, battles and political discussions and decisions in various places and on both sides of the conflict.

The author introduces you to various people involved, Including Franklin, Washington, Adams, and men on the other side, like King George III, Generals Gage, Howe, Carleton and Burgoyne. And you don't just get acquainted with the famous people, also lesser known people, some of whom live and some of whom die.

Atkinson is an excellent writer. While keeping a high level overview of the history, he still manages to pull you in and make you feel for the people involved and, in a way, makes you feel that you are viewing events with them.  I think that part of how he manages to pull that off is because he peppers his sentences and paragraphs with snippet quotations from official documents and the writings (from letters and diaries) of individual people of that era, contemporary eyewitnesses and commentators.  He'll of often start a sentence off in his own words and then conclude it, or intersperse it, with snippet quotes from a person involved.  Here are a couple of samples:

"Books and manuscripts fed British stoves, and many officers agreed with Captain Glanville Evelyn, who told his father he hoped all of Boston burned 'that we may be enabled to leave it.'"

"Prescott was among the last to escape, 'stepping long, with his sword up,' parrying bayonet thrusts that snagged his banyan but not his flesh.  Peter brown scrambled over the wall and ran for half a mile; musket balls, he told his mother, 'few like hail stones'  Captain Bancroft fought his way out, first with a musket butt, then with his fists, bullets nicking his hat and coat and shearing off his left forefinger.  Corporal Farnsworth of Groton would tell his diary, 'I received a wound in my right arm…'"

 It was fascinating to observe the actions and thoughts on both sides of the conflict. As I said, this book is very interesting. Seeing the big picture and learning about the little details as well.  It was really hitting me, perhaps more than ever before, that waging war back then was a really tough thing to do.  Not only did one have to make sure one was supplied well with arms, munition, food, clothing..etc.  But also one had to battle the elements and disease.  One of the biggest enemies of the Americans was the Smallpox.  It really started devastating the American troops in Canada, it was horrible reading about how they couldn't help the people dying of smallpox, lying in their dying moments infested with maggots and other vermin.  It was simply horrible thinking about dying like that.  The men had to battle unique individual ailments as well.  Such as kidney stones and headaches.  It's funny…I never really thought about that before, that a headache or an attack of  kidney stones could take key officers out of a battle, or just make it much harder to deal with the pressures they already faced.  It's sort of a 'duh' thought, but I had just not considered it before.

Many other little details were fascinating too.  Even lists of things were interesting. Lists of stockpiles of food and supplies, lists of dumped and destroyed things (so that the enemy couldn't utilize it). And then other details, for instance, apparently Benjamin Franklin had advocated that the military use the Longbow, which struck me as odd at first, but then made more sense because it took the guns of the day so long to be loaded.  His proposal was rejected though.  And then, as I believe I've mentioned, the authors include mentions of many people's opinions and perspectives from that time period, even briefly mentioning one man in particular whom I never quite associated with the events in America, the preacher John Wesley.  He was against the Americans but not sure about using force to bring them around.  Things like that just made it seem more real.

There are bits that are somewhat funny as well, like this snippet: "The western riflemen typically wore deerskin trousers and leaf-dyed hunting shirts, with a buck's tail affixed to the hat and a scalping knife sheathed on the belt.  Many had 'liberty or death' printed in  large white script over their hearts, although one young rifleman admitted to preferring  'liberty or wounded'."

Anyway, I should end this now as I want to recommend this book, not write a book about it myself.  All in all, this book is very, very interesting and informative. Quite an intriguing learning experience.

Many thanks to the folks at Henry Holt (via a LibraryThing giveaway) for sending me a free advanced review copy of this book (My review did not have to be favorable).  Since my copy was an advanced copy, the content of the published version may not be exactly the same as the copy I have.

*Some people may want to know that there is some foul language and blasphemy in this book (Mainly from direct quotations of people at the time).  Also, I did not agree with all of the author's political views (For instance, his comment that American's had and have a "penchant for subjugating those deemed in need of deliverance"?)  But I am able to overlook it and focus on the history.

This book may be purchased at Amazon.com

Friday, April 26, 2019

Church - A. W. Tozer



This book, Church, by A. W.Tozer is a collection of his insights on the topic. He deals with, The Organization of the church, the character of the church, communion of the church, witness of the church…etc. 

There isn't a lot of, how shall I put it? Detailed information.   It may have interest for some people, but I didn't find it very intriguing.  I guess it just seemed like more of a devotional type of work.  It didn't seem particularly expository in any given part.

And I had trouble with several things,

He made statements that kind of confused me, like:

"…would you reach out your hand by faith and pull the Holy Spirit in unto you?  It would make a great and wonderful difference in your life. I've seen it happen and there's no reason why it can't happen for you if you fully obey."
So…faith is not a gift from God/The Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit waits for me to produce faith and good works and then just enters into my life as a companion, not Someone who is working in me to incline me to do good works and to believe?

"Living under the circumstances you do and living on the high level you live, you ought to have somebody in Korea, Austria or somewhere whom you are feeding - at least one person in addition to supporting your missions and your church, and paying your taxes." What if I just feed my family and help out members of my church family with the bills?  What if we don't have the money to spend for Missions overseas but each member of the church finds opportunities to evangelize those without God in their own God-given sphere of influence?

And then, speaking of Jonathan Edwards, he "wasn't a faultless man.  He was a man who made mistakes made so many blunders that they actually threw him out of his church on one of occasion.  And he was in trouble.  He was not a perfect man…".  Not that Edwards was perfect and that he didn't make mistakes, it's just I don't understand why Tozer seemed to think that Edwards was legitimately kicked out of his church. If I remember correctly, Edwards had rebuked certain people for living in sin and had not allowed certain ones partake of the Lord's table because he didn't think that they were Christians.  Perhaps others would have approached the matter differently, but I don't think these were blunders on his part.

"Deacons are supposed to be young men……they were the ones who did the work around the church…You remember Ananias and Saphira when they died?  Remember who carried them out?  The deacons, the young men carried them out."  That one was just…weird. Why not old men?

There was some good stuff in the book, but overall it wasn't a book that I found particularly interesting and informative.

Many thanks to the folks at MP Newsroom for sending me a free review copy of this book.  My review did not have to be favorable.

My Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

This book may be purchased at Amazon.com and Christianbook.com



Thursday, April 11, 2019

Lt. General William K. Harrison Jr.




I first heard of William K. Harrison Jr. on the radio some time ago.  He was being used as an example of someone who made sure he read the word of God every day, even when things got really busy; and things were really busy in his life, as it was noted that this man was a general in World War II.

 Not a lot of information was given, but that piqued my interest. But I was sort of afraid he'd be some sort of nominal Christian guy who just read his Bible for just for the sake of 'morality', rather than being the real deal.

I tried to find more information about him, and discovered some articles that he had written


And the other one is "May A Christian Serve in the Military".  I'll give an excerpt from that one here: 

From the section in that article,  "The Real Cause of War".
"From a Biblical standpoint the answer is simple. The world is dead in sin. Lust, plunder, and war are the natural characteristics of the human race, dead and lost in sin (Romans 1:18-32). Many good Christians seek to eliminate war by dressing up the outside of the cup, seeking to cure the apparent causes of war. The real cause of war is in the sinful heart of man. The Lord said that except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Being born again is a miracle. It comes only when one believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and as the Son of God. People believe when they hear the gospel. Never has the preaching of the gospel succeeded in converting more than a portion of hearers at any one time.

Even at Pentecost in the great city of Jerusalem only 3,000 believed at the most wonderful exhibition of gospel power in church history. The rapid growth of Christianity in the Roman Empire resulted first in the persecution of Christians, and then ultimately in the decay of spiritual Christian life into the dark ages of medieval centuries. The Protestant Reformation did not produce more than a partial awakening. Today there is an apostasy from the simple, pure Word of God and faith in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God and the only Savior.

We are not called to preach the gospel to save the world from war and crime. We can preach the gospel all we want to, but only a few believe. Christ said that broad is the way that leads to destruction and many are they that find it, and narrow is the way that leads to life and few are they that find it. The preaching of the gospel is to them who are saved a savor unto life, unto them who are lost a savor unto death. The Scriptures say that God is now taking out a people for His name. I can find no place in the Scripture where it intimates that the preaching of the gospel of grace will succeed in converting the world.

On the other hand, it does say that the gospel should be preached to all the world as a witness…."

Those articles made me curious to know more about this guy.  I did some research on the internet, and there was only a bit of information.  The end of the above articles give a short summary of who Harrison was:  "Lieutenant General William K. Harrison, Jr., retired in 1956 after forty four years in the Army. He was assistant division commander of the 30th Infantry Division, rated by General S.L.A. Marshall as the best division in the European Theater during World War II. He was chief U.N. negotiator at Panmunjom, Korea, and subsequently served as commander in chief of the Caribbean Command. General Harrison served as president of OCF from 1954-1972 and as president emeritus from 1972 until his death in 1987."

Wikipedia didn't have much more information.  But I found that there was a biography of Harrison called, "A Man Under Orders"by D. Bruce Lockerbie.  It was published in 1979,is out of print, and the copies I was finding were rather expensive (I think one of the ones I found was $60), even its "list price" is absurd, $1000 something dollars. 

Instead, I found book about the 30th division that he was assistant commander of in World War II.  The book is, "OldHickory: The 30th Division: The Top-Rated American Infantry Division in Europein World War II" by Robert Baumer.  The book was quite interesting in and of itself (you can buy it on Amazon), and Harrison is mentioned quite a bit, though it doesn't really go into his beliefs. But it was interesting to see how much of a leader he was and how courageous. Baumer says, "He would become one of the most frequently seen general officers of WWII in the front lines with his men, and widely admired for his courage."

The author, Robert Baumer, apparently read my review of his book, and he noticed that I had mentioned that I was having difficulties finding a copy of Harrison's biography.  The author messaged me and said that he had a copy of the book that he didn't need anymore, and that he'd send it to me.  It was very, very kind of him. 

So I read the book, and loved it.  Or rather, loved to see what God did in the life of this man.

He was a Christian for most of his life, and God's sanctification of him usually involved his not getting what he wanted. Harrison's aspiration was to use his leadership skills as a soldier.  During World War I, when he graduated from West Point, he wanted to go be sent from there to France, but was instead sent to Arizona to guard the border.  Then, he was assigned to teach languages at West Point.  "While Harrison kept himself respectable in the classroom, his heart had never been teaching foreign languages.  He felt as though he were wasting time. To amuse himself, he turned to puzzling out problems in tactics doing his best not to atrophy as a soldier."   He learned how to teach well, and this served him well later, he became "renowned" for his teaching of troops.  And God kept teaching him submission by giving him tasks that he didn't want.

As mentioned above, he liked solving tactics problems, and he liked coming up with solutions to other military problems as well, just for fun and to keep his military mind sharp.  Even that came in handy later on. 

I was very interested to find that God pivotally used him in World War II.  Two events really stand out.  First, a little before America entered the war, he was assigned to General Marshall's Committee on Allocation of Responsibilities which was given the job of figuring out a reorganization of the Army High command (which was in great disarray).  This especially needed to be done in case war broke out. After weeks of the other members wrangling and disagreeing about how to do it, Harrison, who had kept pretty quiet most of the time, said that he had the solution to the problem.  And that afternoon, dug though the papers he had doodled on for fun and found one that he had done several months earlier. ""On a single sheet of paper, he had sketched out a plan to reorganize the United States Army." He edited it a little and presented it the next day. And that was the plan the committee ended up going with.  Asa result of this, he was promoted to Brigadier General.  A few years later, he was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for having come up with the plan.

He ended up becoming assistant commander of the 30th infantry division.  His commander, Hobbs, turned over his own responsibility of training the troops over to Harrison.  The top commander was supposed to do that but Hobbs apparently didn't want that responsibility.  Harrison did the job well.  And then when they went overseas, he seemed to be the real leader of the men.  Harrison was one of the "most seen generals on the battlefield".  He did most of the legwork for Hobbs and loved to lead from the front.

The second pivotal thing he did that God used to really help the Allies, came in the midst of disaster. Having arrived in France , The 30th Infantry Division was going to participate in Operation Cobra, which, was to push further into France.  This operation was to begin with a major saturation bombing of the enemy with the troops then moving in afterward. On the day it was to begin, Harrison was with the men up front.  To the men's surprise, the planes (whose pilots didn't have an accurate visual) bombed their own men.  They started firing back at their own planes. The invasion didn't take place that day. They tried again the next day, but the SAME THING happened.  More than 600 of the men had been hit. Harrison, who was with the men again, was almost killed, surviving "an almost direct hit from not one but two bombs". he was thrown down but unharmed. His initial response was out of character, he was very angry, and screamed up at the pilots, calling them an indecent name. I wish that the biographer, who included a lot of dialogue from interviews he'd had with Harrison, would have had Harrison comment on his bad response, which I'm sure he wouldn't have condoned.  Anyway, he calmed down pretty quick though.

 The attack still had to happen, and so, despite many of  their own men being dead or wounded from the friendly fire, Harrison successfully pushed the men forward.  I'll let the Distinguished Service Cross he received later on for this action sum it up. His citation read, "On 25 July 1944, General Harrison quickly reorganized the leading elements of his division which had previously become disorganized by the bombing of friendly aircraft. Realizing that the success of the entire operation depended on the 30th infantry Division carrying out its mission, General Harrison, with complete disregard for his personal safety and unselfish devotion to duty, accompanied the demoralized troops as they began their advance. Through his valor, courage, and presence in the very front of the attack, General Harrison inspired the men to a successful completion of their mission."

A Brigadier General, Stewart L. Hall, who was the 30th Divisions Intelligence chief said, "I believe it was General Harrison's example at that instant that turned the tide3 of the war in the early days of the fighting in Normandy."

Anyway, despite all his hard work, he still didn't get the recognition/promotion that he wanted.  It was when he was wounded some time later(from being up at the front again) that he realized that he had become proud, "Being wounded and out of action became a pivotal incident in Harrison's life, as he himself concedes. 'You see,' he admits, 'I'd been kidding myself all along that I was working to serve God.  But I'm very human, and without my realizing it, I was really striving for myself.  I was particularly upset because, I guess, my abilities as the next Napoleon weren't being recognized.  I knew, and I think my men knew, who was responsible for making the 30th Infantry Division everything it was cracked up to be.  But I was still only the Assistant Division Commander.  My pride made me forget God altogether.'"  He refocused and got back to work with a better perspective.

After the war, he was still  assigned to jobs he didn't really want.  He was summoned to  Japan, "…Harrison was surprised and dismayed to learn that he had not been assigned to a division; rather, he had been personally selected by Macarthur to be executive for economic affairs, then later chief of the Reparations section, Allied Powers' General Headquarters."

And then, when trouble broke out in North and South Korea, Harrison wanted to be assigned to duty in the battle zone, but instead, upon being called to Washington, "he was informed that he had been appointed chief of the Army-Air Force Troop Information and Education Division, another desk job." He was responsible for "propaganda and university extension courses." Still, he did his best in the job, recognizing Who had given it to him:  "What did I know about education or propaganda! Nothing, and I cared even less!  But I figured God wanted me doing that job, or else He wouldn't have placed me there."

A bit later he was assigned to be in command of a training center. He liked training soldiers better than the propaganda job he had had, though it still wasn't the battlefield.  Near the end of 1951, he finally was about to get, what he thought was, his chance to be in the action.  He was appointed Deputy Commander of the 8th Army.    He was finally going to the front.  After a few weeks of inspection tours to acquaint himself with the situation, he was interrupted by another job assignment.  That of being on the Truce team.

This was yet another job he didn't want, and a job that he didn't really agree should be done at this point.  He thought that it would be futile and that they should conquer the North Koreans before negotiating a deal.  But again, God had given him this job, so he needed to do it to the best of his ability.

"Ever since he had been a little boy, Harrison had been preparing himself for a major command in the army.  As Mark Clark says of him, 'Bill was always a cavalry man looking for that chance to shock the enemy with a charge.' But his ambition had never been fulfilled; his skill as a field commander never recognized and so, never tested.  Instead, at the climax of his service, his country called upon him to exercise every other quality for which he had been schooled.  Where a cavalry charge would have failed, lessons learned in the drudgery of bureaus, sections, committees, boards, and other General Staff desk jobs succeeded.  In the always astonishing providence of God, those very traits that Harrison's long years of varied duties had taught him - patience tact, analytical incisiveness, and a resilient spirit buoyed by faith - were what he most needed at Pammujom."

It was a very tough job, but Harrison was able to show the North Koreans that he meant business.  As everyone knows, a sort of deal was reached and has been in place ever since.  Harrison has been in the news, in a way lately, with the heightened conflict with South Korea this past year or two, news articles have revisited the original Armistice along with pictures of Harrison signing it  (sitting at the table on the left in this picture).



I do want to warn about some things though.  Harrison seemed quite staunch in his Christianity, but then there is this excerpt from the book:  "But while he did not use his rank to promote religious activities within the Division, he did what he could to encourage the work of chaplains.  When he found a chaplain doing his best to help the men by raising their morale - whether Harrison agreed with him theologically or not - he encouraged him to carry on."  I didn't quite know what to make of that. I suppose if they were just raising morale fine…but I'm hoping that he didn't encourage any chaplains who have major theological/soteriological differences, like Roman Catholicism (which teaches that Jesus Christ is not the only Mediator between God and man, along with other unbiblical  things).   

I also want to note that there is some swearing and vulgar language in this book.
  
But overall I really liked the account. It's so nice to read of brave soldiers who fought well.  But I truly admire Christian soldiers, as they are the ones with true bravery.  True bravery isn't merely conquering fear, it's trust in God, that all things really do work out for good for His people, conforming them to the image of Christ (Rom 8:28-29).  It's really sad reading about brave men who risk their lives for their country when you realize that they are not Christian, and that they would go straight to Hell if they died.  When you think about it, from a biblical perspective, the bravery of non Christian soldiers is insanity because they ultimately either don't think about God, or trust in their own good works or something other than Christ, and have no overriding fear of meeting their Maker. Even if the military person makes it through war, if he still doesn't become a Christian, it's horribly sad when he dies even just of old age. But that's not the case when you read that a Christian died. It makes me think of the verse, "The Lord takes no delight in the death of the wicked" (Ezek 33:11) in contrast to "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints"( Psalm 116:15)

The biography was written while Harrison was still alive (I think he was in his 80s at the time). But he was still living a life of faith at the time, and it sounds as though he did until the end when he went to be with the Lord in 1987. Harrison was a Christian, he trusted in God and knew that God had taken care of his sin, and so was brave in the midst of danger, knowing that God was in control of whatever happened.  That is true bravery.  God-given bravery. And even the monotonous parts of his life were inspiring because he trusted God even in those, doing his best with whatever God gave him to do.  It truly was encouraging to read about God's work in this man's life.

I hope that the book is republished again sometime (maybe without the bad language). Right now there are some more copies available for sale (lowest is $100 right now)on Amazon. But I have found that it is also available to read/digitally borrow for free online at OpenLibrary.