The Book Corner
Ecclesiastes: The Mid-Life Crisis. Don Anderson. Neptune, N.J.: Loizeaux Brothers, 1987. 267 pp. Paper, $7.95.
Commentaries on Ecclesiastes are not overly numerous. Mr. Don Anderson is a new writer to this reviewer and he shows ample promise that much more can be expected from his able pen.
The author’s approach to the book of Ecclesiastes is mainly addressed to those encountering various problems which all too often catch up with folk who have reached “middle life,” presumably around 40 to 50 years of age. Obviously, Solomon is preparing his readers for the inevitable evil days preceding death “when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.” Anderson supposes a lot of professing Christians, or just plain everyday folk, have reached middle life with no buildup of spiritual resources. Things have now taken place in their lives — the unexpected and the tragic — which should awaken those who have been careless to the realities of this mortal life. Solomon, the Spirit-inspired writer of Ecclesiastes, sees himself caught in the perplexities of middle life and attempting to reason his way through the common dilemmas. Actually, coupled with the fear of God, Solomon comes up only with timely advice. For instance, he warns against womanizing and instead to be always ravished with the wife of one’s youth. He advises taking a middle path as one’s way in this life. He experimented with every conceivable thing calculated to give pleasure and satisfaction, only to come up with the conclusion: “All is vanity.”
At this point Anderson writes: “Nothing of this world will last, but the man who clearly sees past his own funeral service is the man who may well avoid a severe crisis at mid-life” (p. 67). He also writes: “The Bible is far from silent on the subject of mid-life difficulty. In fact, it is my thesis that the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, has provided us with an entire book on the subject: the book of Ecclesiastes” (p. 12).
If the law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, Solomon’s wish reveals the need for the wisdom of the Lord Jesus Christ who could say: “… all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15). Anderson effectively uses Ecclesiastes as a springboard to plunge into the final answers that can only be found in Christ, the true Light of the world —the Man from above the sun.
Jesus: Lord and Saviour. By F. F. Bruce. Downers Grove. IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1986. 228 pp. Paper, $7.95.
Professor F. F. Bruce has written much and is recognized internationally as a New Testament scholar. This, one of his latest books, is a survey of Christ’s life and teaching and is full of useful information. It is not too technical to have a general appeal.
Rather than being just a dry, academic treatise, it breathes a rich, personal faith and devotion to Christ. As the preface by Michael Green states, “It is a careful study showing that the fashionable division between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith is not tenable; and as well as taking us through who Jesus was Professor Bruce stresses who he is in the experience of believers — Son of God, Savior and Lord.”
This is a faith building book. The closing paragraph affirms: “So he remains today: the crucified and risen one, Son of God and Son of Man, Savior of the world and judge of the world, friend of sinners and Lord of all, present now and yet to come, Jesus Christ the same” (p. 207).
—Donald L. Norbie
Majesty: The God You Should Know. By J. Sidlow Baxter. San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers, 1984. 229 pp. Cloth, n. p.
With his broad command of the English language, the author illumines the basic passages of Scripture which clearly inform us of the attributes of God. His sovereign love to, in, and through all mankind, His infinite holiness, His matchless grace, and His great faithfulness are all discussed at length with copious Scripture references. As an example of the thoroughness of this work, the divine simile that God is light, with supporting Scripture and the analogy to physical light, is clearly expounded. Seven texts declaring the faithfulness of God are analyzed and expounded. The triunity of God and its extension to the universe and nature is clearly defined. Also, there is an extensive Scripture index for reference purposes.
As an exhaustive exposition of the attributes and nature of God, this book will appeal to all who have a desire to know God as thoroughly as it is humanly possible to do so.
The critical reader will wish there were not so many typographical errors in the book, but this does not detract in the slightest degree from the value of the text for the sincere student of God’s Word.
—Arthur F. Wilder