Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Some reviews of Risking the Truth

Kevin De Young reviews it here. He says:
I wasn't sure what to expect from Risking the Truth: Handling Error in the Church but Martin Downes' collection of interviews proved to be a wise and insightful read...there is a remarkable similarity in the general approach to truth and error given by these men: preach the Bible, don't neglect your own heart, don't spend all your time on controversy, test your theology against historic creeds and confessions, beware of pride. I really enjoyed this book. Pastors and scholars especially would do well to pick up a copy.
Jeff Downs is reviewing the book bit by bit at the Alpha and Omega Ministries site. Read his opening thoughts here.

There is a review by Erroll Hulse in this month's Evangelicals Now, you can read that here, plus an article on the Federal Vision featuring an extract from my interview with Ligon Duncan. You can read Ligon's article here. Erroll Hulse writes:
This work is important because it deals with contemporary trends, history, creeds and confessions, and doctrines that are currently under attack. There is personal reflection on these matters, lessons drawn from experience, and practical advice.
There has also been a review in Evangelical Times. Here's a snippet:
This is an unusual but helpful book on a neglected but vital subject. It consists of interviews with twenty leading evangelical pastors and seminary teachers on the issue of handling and refuting error in the local church...provides wise, godly and eminently pastoral advice that will help church leaders protect the flocks under their care. I commend it warmly to men in church leadership.
Todd Pruitt has written the following at the Westminster Bookstore site:
One of the things I liked immediately about Risking the Truth was its unique format. Martin Downes assembled an oustanding 'cast of characters' to deal with the issues he raises. In a series of thought provoking interviews Downes explores some of the ways error snakes its way into the church and what are the appropriate responses to this reality. One of the unifying characteristics is the challenge of jealously guarding the church against error while seeking to love and restore those who err.

Pastors and elders in particular will benefit from this book. But I highly recommend this book for lay persons as a means to equip them with an understanding of what is required to properly guard the flock of God.
My fellow Welshman Guy Davies has reviewed it over at Ref 21

Mike Plant, General Secretary of the EFCC here in the UK (The Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches), writes:
Martin Downes’ book is very unusual. To be honest I had already seen it and decided its subject was so depressing that I didn’t want to read it before reading the ‘Exiled Preacher’ interview led me to buy it. Martin has written the two introductory and two closing chapters and the rest of the book consists of twenty interviews with evangelical academics and pastors.

There are some very sharp insights from some of the contributors but there are common emphases: ‘the importance of biblical exposition in the life of the church, the value of well-tested and pastorally well-proven Confessions of the church, the importance of guarding the heart, the privilege of genuine friendships in which men seek to hold one another to a gospel life-style.’ Well worth reading – I just read a chapter a day and gave time to thinking about what had been said.

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