Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Review: The Old Evangelicalism

Title:   The Old Evangelicalism: Old Truths for a New Awakening

General Subject Matter:  Theology

Theme:  Doctrinal recovery of subjects such as sin, regeneration, justification by Christ's righteousness, the cross, and the love of God, assurance of salvation

Thesis:  A saving conversion to Christ was the preeminent subject for study and for the pulpit

Author:  Ian Murray

Publisher:  The Banner of Truth Trust

Copyright Date:  2005

ISBN 0 85151 901 6

Sin, regeneration, justification by Christ's righteousness, the cross and the love of God, assurance of salvation- these are the truths that once thrilled churches and changed nations. They are the message that 'turned the world upside down.' Yet where evangelicalism continues to affirm these truths, without such results, it is often assumed that the must have new needs that cannot be met without something new. Hence the call for change, and such words as 'mere doctrine is not enough.' 

These addresses by Iain Murray challenge that mindset. He shows that biblical truths are never 'mere'. Where they have ceased to move and astonish it is because they have ceased to be rightly believed. Doctrinal recovery is the first need.

Murray, an outstanding historical and doctrinal writer has put together a number of addresses or sermons to develop his theme of the necessity of doctrinal recovery to preserve the truths of evangelicalism. Originally offered to pastors and theologians, Murray expanded these addresses for a wider audience. This is not an easy read because it is a collection of doctrinal studies of important biblical truth.
Murray uses persuasion to establish his point in each address (chapter). His purpose is to persuade the reader to reevaluate what made evangelicalism great. He outlines the benefits and then builds a case establishing the problems when the church abandons these points.

The strengths of Murray's book lies not only in the development of each address but also in his conclusions. Murray outlines his presentation and gives concluding truths and support. Murray also includes in his conclusion a section called 'Additional Notes.' Murray includes quotes and paragraphs from additional authors on the topic of his address.

Even though this was not light reading, it still held my attention and was extremely informative. This book is a very interesting book with great value to the church today. It is an extremely useful book for believers to understand how important biblical doctrine truly is.

Since it is not a 'book' but a collection of addresses it is impossible to summarize the book. One would have to summarize each and every address. However, I did not find anything that Murray did not substantiate with scripture and actual illustration. I recommend this book for every believer but especially every evangelical leader.

Watch for periodic book reviews by the Gospel-driven Disciples. Solomon said there was no end to the making of books, therefore we have to choose what we read wisely and with great discernment. Not every book is worthy of its purchase price. At various times I will offer reviews, both good and bad, of various books.


Trisha said...

Great review, Gregg, of a book I've not heard of. How long did you take to go through this one?

I have Murray's biography of Jonathan Edwards sitting on my shelf, and I can't wait to get that one started.

Have a great weekend!


Enjoyed the review Gregg, thought I would get up for a few hours and visit "My Friends". Being alone is not to be reccomended.


Persis said...

I enjoyed your review. Looks like another book to add to my list. I'm still working through Murray's Evangelicalism Divided.

Petra said...

Looks like a worthy book to jot down on my to read list. Blessings!