The Book Corner
Exploring the Psalms, Volume 2, Psalms 42-72. By John Phillips. Neptune, N.J.: Loizeaux Brothers, 1986. 285 pp. Cloth $14.95.
The book of Psalms is possibly the most widely read book in the Bible. It is, therefore, a great help to many people to have an able Bible teacher such as John Phillips provide background and commentary on this second main section of the Psalms. With his prolific use of the alliterative outline method of analysis, the author summarizes and interprets the message of each psalm in the series.
The literal and modern meaning of many Hebraic words and expressions is given, illuminating many familiar passages for the reader. Preachers and teachers will find many practical contemporary illustrations taken from the author’s personal experiences. The prophetic nature of many psalms is clearly expounded and there are many allusions to the types and shadows of Christ that abound in these great poetic passages.
Each chapter deals with one psalm, while some of the chapter headings whet the appetite for further study. “The Thirsty Soul,” “The Poisonous Tongue,” and “Knocked Down but Not Knocked Out,” are a few examples. Also, wherever the psalmist is known, his background and motive for writing are given. Some are designated “Orphan Psalms” in the absence of any clear knowledge of the writer’s identity.
Serious students of the Word, as well as the casual reader who has only a superficial knowledge of the Bible, will find much food for reflection and collateral study, using the copious references the author employs to illustrate his comments.
In God’s Waiting Room. By Lehman Strauss. Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press, 1985. 103 pp. Paper $4.95.
Anyone who has been at a Bible conference with Dr. Lehman Strauss in the last four years must have been impressed, as I was, with his selfless devotion to his crippled wife. I mentioned this to him last year and he said humbly, “I’m still learning.” The subtitle of this book is “Learning through Suffering.” It is a record of his experiences at his wife’s side 24 hours a day since her stroke in 1982. He acknowledges God’s absolute sovereignty in the situation and expresses complete dependence on God in all circumstances. God is still in control and makes no mistakes in His dealings with His children.
Some of the chapter headings give the tone of the book. “In Time of Need,” on Hebrews 4:16; “The God of All Comfort,” on 2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4; “He Cares,” on 1 Peter 5:7; and a chapter on how Job surrendered to God’s will. Many other passages of Scripture where suffering and pain are dealt with are referred to. Perhaps the message of the book is best expressed by a quote: “Suffering is a required course in God’s school, and it should be a great learning place for every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our trial has been for me an enriching experience. It has taught me some valuable lessons.” And this from a man who has counselled many others.
Since one never knows when a loved one may be stricken by sickness or accident, this book should be in the hands of every believer who wants to know God’s will in the midst of such circumstances. We can profit by the lessons the author has learned the hard way — by personal experience — and has handed on to us in his clear expository style.
Devotions for Growing Christians. By David R. Reid. Neptune, N.J.: Loizeaux Brothers, 1986. 253 pp. Paper, $4.95.
This book is a series of 40 case studies from Scripture which show how many biblical characters in both the Old and New Testament met and solved personal crises and trials in their lives. The theme of the book is to provide answers to the question on page 221, “What is the lesson in all of this for the growing Christian?” Each chapter is headed by the portion of Scripture used and the subject index makes the book one which can be consulted for a specific problem or read as a whole in preparation for life’s problems in general.
Here is an excellent work for the young Christian who is looking for Scriptural guidance in making moral decisions, as well as for the mature believer to review with the question in mind: “How am I doing in my Christian life?”
Chief Men among the Brethren. By Hy. Pickering. Neptune, N.J.: Loizeaux Brothers, First U.S. Printing, 1986. 223 pp. Paper, $9.95.
Of the many histories that have been written about the Brethren Movement, this book is unique in that it is a collection of 100 brief testimonial biographies of men who were leaders in the movement in the 19th century. Among the names, you will recognize authors, hymnists, editors, and missionaries who own no other spiritual authority than Jesus Christ. The last of the men listed died in 1930, so many of the 20th century brethren are excluded, but the principles which directed the lives of those older brethren are seen in some of our leading contemporary brethren. We can learn much from studying the lives of these godly men whose names are revered and who devoted their lives to serving and walking with the Lord.
(The foregoing books were reviewed by Arthur F. Wilder.)