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God’s Good Design (The Lies We are Told, the Truth We Must Hold 3/4)

Healthy plants have deep roots and strong pillars have solid foundations. If we are to be Christians who are deeply rooted in Christ and built on the solid Rock, then we need more than mere sound bites. One means that the Lord has used throughout church history to strengthen His people’s faith and witness is reading good books. This book review series is identifying books that can serve as shovels that help you dig deeper in your Christian life.


Book: THE LIES WE ARE TOLD, THE TRUTH WE MUST HOLD – Worldviews and Their Consequences by Sharon James.  

 

Our fallen world is a mess, but the Triune God is Lord over all. That’s what we’ve sketched out in parts one and two of this series. In our third part, we want to follow Sharon James as she helps us identify God’s good design for authority structures. While all authority structures in the home, church and society are tainted by sin, the structures themselves are good gifts from our generous God. We begin to find stability as we align ourselves with God and His design woven into His world. As we do so, we discover that God’s design for humanity starts with the family: husband, wife, and their children. The family is the foundational institution in a society as no other institution has the ability “to transmit what is pivotal—character formation, values, virtues, and enduring love—to each new generation” (p. 222).


Appreciating the institution of the family is not a call to be selfish and insular, but is God’s ordinary means for spreading blessings to others. The family does this through shaping productive members of society to enrich the community and by welcoming in others through hospitality. James notes that the recent fervor of ‘progressives’ to ‘smash capitalism’ is contrary to God’s design to blessing others. “Capitalism is simply the free exchange of privately held goods and services. Free exchange allows for personal incentive… If nations are to escape poverty, they need to be free to increase the production of goods and services”. While there will always be gaps between prosperity and poverty, “a just society should provide equal opportunities, including education” (p. 235).


James then provides inspiring examples of how this was accomplished in the eighteenth and nineteenth century evangelical revivals, and how this continues through churches and Christian agencies today. Among many insightful observations, the author demonstrates that “shutting down a city congregation will often damage a neighborhood’s viability and socio-economic health, whereas active churches, religious schools, and church-based ministries have a positive impact on local communities” (p. 242).


History teaches that “cultures influenced by a biblical Christian worldview recognize the importance of taking responsibility. They encourage qualities such as hard work, perseverance, generosity and courage” (p. 243). James even comments on the current focus on globalism. “Diversity between nations is not intrinsically negative. The vast variety of cultures and social systems reflects the diversity found throughout the created order” (p. 251). God is King over all. The Father has exalted His Son, Jesus Christ, to have authority over all other rulers (Psalms 2, 110).


Without minimizing the abuses that can exist in families, how can you see the goodness of God’s design in the family unit? How can you and your family be a means of spreading blessings to those around you?


THE LIES WE ARE TOLD, THE TRUTH WE MUST HOLD by Sharon James. Published by Christian Focus Publications, Ross-shire, Scotland, 2022. Softcover, 302 pages.


Buy this book by clicking here.


-       This is adapted from Mrs. Ricky (Frederika) Pronk’s book reviews in The Messenger. She is a member of Grace Free Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario and, together with her husband Rev. C. Pronk, is involved in Reformed Book Services

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