Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Book Notes

Written by Frederika Pronk
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The following books were received for reviewing. We were informed that they may be obtained from any Christian bookstore around the world, or directly from Inheritance Publications, Canada: Box 154, Neerlandia, Alberta T0G 1R0, toll free Tel. & Fax 1-800-563-3594; U.S.A.: Box 366, Pella, Iowa 50219, toll free Tel. & Fax: 1-800-563-3594.

What the Spirit Says to the Churches by Jerome M. Julien; 107 pp.; cost $9.95 Cdn., $8.90 U.S. As the title indicates, these are sermons based on the letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor, as recorded in Revelation 2 and 3. They were preached as a series while the author was involved in establishing an Independent Reformed congregation because the Christian Reformed Churches made synodical decisions by which they departed from the confessional Reformed interpretation of Scripture. No doubt, these sermons were very applicable to the situation in which the congregation of the Independent Reformed Church of Sheffield, Ontario, to which these sermons are addressed and dedicated, found itself. Read this little booklet to find out what kind of Reformed preaching was proclaimed from this pulpit (Rev. Julien now serves a United Reformed congregation at Lynwood, Illinois). In the ÒIntroductionÓ the author states that in its printed form, Òsome of the passion of preached sermons is gone.Ó Even in its printed form, however, these sermons do not lack fervour. The sermons contain both warning and comfort for the congregation. Free Reformed people who are discerning and concerned about the personal, discriminating element in the preaching will notice that these sermons tend to be corporately directed rather than personally applied.

ChildrenÕs Books
ÒGolden Inheritance Series:ÓThe following two books are #2 and #3 in the ÒGolden Inheritance Series,Ó which began with ÒJessicaÕs First Prayer & JessicaÕs Mother.Ó Both books are reprints of nineteenth century authors and describe the social and moral conditions which prevailed at this time in Britain. These books make us aware of the attempts made by evangelical Christians to ameliorate the horrendous conditions of child labour, long hours and little pay. This is literature which teaches Christian principles in an interesting way but also provides very valuable information from a historical point of view. All children should be exposed to these books. Actually, these books are a kind of Christian Dickensian literature. If the language is a bit difficult and the stories are outdated, parents and teachers should be aware that these books enrich a childÕs vocabulary, provide an understanding of history and point to the duty of Christians to help and bring the Gospel to the poor and needy in our time, such as those in our inner cities or in Third World countries. Consider reading these books to your children if they do not pick them up to read themselves. Highly recommended literature for home and school use and church libraries. We look forward to see the other books announced in this series.

Probably Sons by Amy Le Feuvre; 94 pp.; cost $6.95 Cdn., $5.90 U.S.. Suitable for eight years and up, this book will be enjoyed by younger as well as older readers. This is the story of a small child who applies the Parable of the Prodigal Son, whom she mis-calls ÒThe Probable Son,Ó to everyday life.

Pilgrim Street by Hesba Stretton; 144 pp.; cost $8.95 Cdn., $7.90 U.S. This story exposes the criminal justice system of nineteenth century England. Even young children of the lower social classes were not spared harsh and inhumane treatment. This story also powerfully illustrates GodÕs promise that Òhe that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My sonÓ

ÒHuguenot Inheritance Series:Ó Why a series of Huguenot stories? We all know that they were heroes of the Christian faith and many were ruthlessly martyred. To this day, Christians ask why Protestantism is so weak and infinitesimally small in present day France, while there were so many Ôheroes of faith.Õ Maybe this condition is still the aftermath of judgment upon that country, whereas their scattering throughout the world has been a blessing to promote the Protestant faith. In an introduction to the ÒHuguenot Inheritance SeriesÓ it is stated that Òthousands of Huguenots were dispersed over the whole world, especially to Canada, England, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, and the U.S.AÉ Of the Protestants it may well be the majority that has some connection with those who were martyred and exiled for their faith.Ó It is because of this kinship and their examples of faith that connect Reformed Christians with the Huguenots that the publishers have launched this series. We recommend the books we have read so far and look forward to more.

How They Kept the Faith by Grace Raymond; 352 pp.; cost $14.95 Cdn., $12.90 U.S. This is #3 in the series; the first two being ÒThe EscapeÓ and ÒThe Secret MissionÓ by A. Van der Jagt. This book would be suitable for early teens, but also adult readers will be intrigued by the fascinating plot which deals with perseverance of faith under great duress. This story shows that the Huguenots were no plastic saints but truly human, as their weaknesses and failures, including a flowering romance indicate.

Salt in His Blood, the Life of Michael De Ruyter by William Rang; 191 pp.; cost $10.95 Cdn., $9.90 U.S. As one grows up and experiences various cultures and different national perspectives, one becomes increasingly aware that varying viewpoints are often dependent on personal experiences and influenced by the national perspective. I first became painfully aware of this when I as a young school girl immigrated with my parents from the Netherlands to Canada. I had been taught in a Dutch Christian school that Michael De Ruyter and his fellow sailors were not only national heroes, but also devout Christians. We even learned some folk songs about these sea heroes (an English translation with music appears as an appendix in this book). Imagine my dismay when in a Canadian elementary school in a British history textbook De Ruyter and his compatriots were called treacherous Òsea robbersÓ and Òsea piratesÓ who caused much harm to the English navy and the British cause. Well, here is a book which provides school age children with a weapon to defend the Dutch perspective from a Christian standpoint. Even though this book is a fictionalized account, the author has done his research as indicated by a list of several books he has consulted. The result is a well-written, interesting historical novel which will enrich your knowledge of a period of history when Protestantism was at risk. Yes, there is every indication that De Ruyter was a God-fearing hero of the faith. In a letter to his widow written by William Henry, Prince of Orange, she is assured that ÒGod Almighty has been pleased to take him from here by a glorious death.Ó Highly recommended reading for young and old.

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