Acts, A Study in New Testament Christianity
John Heading, Aberystwyth
(652 pages). U.K. sales only, £2 from the author (address on front page). Overseas sales, $6.95 from Walterick Publishers, P.O. Box 2216, Kansas City, U.S.A., or their overseas distributors.
The author of "Acts, A Study in New Testament Christianity" is aware that "there are many commentaries, expositions and theological works on the Book of the Acts". Why yet another? In the reading of this study there is nothing which gives the impression that any feature of the book makes it superfluous. It is obviously written out of a deep personal exercise to make very clear that the "subject matter of the Book of the Acts is just as relevant today as in the days of the apostles" (Preface). It is good to sense the clear sincerity of everything that is written in this connection. Perhaps there are three outstanding features which commend the book as its contents are reviewed.
1. The uncompromising attitude to New Testament Church teaching in the light of present day confusion over such truth. This is so in regard to Baptism and the Lord's Supper, Elders and their appointment and also in matters relating to Church unity. To Christians seeking guidance on these and other matters there is much that is spiritually helpful.
2. The link between individual experience and Assembly development and responsibility is stressed throughout the book. Book 2 p. 131 especially is relevant, "The Book of the Acts maintains a perfect balance - individual experiences and Assembly development are alike treated". In the light of so many unbalanced relationships in Assembly life, this idea has much to say that is vital for today.
3. That which is marked by simplicity and spirituality is emphasized throughout the book. In the face of so much that is complicated in so-called Church life today, it is good to be reminded of the atmosphere of the early Church in this way. The author, as he ends the book, is sure that "the reality of spiritual simplicity can still be enjoyed today as believers wait for their Lord from heaven".
The structure of the book makes for quite easy reading. Although a paper-back, the print is clear and readable. The many references both to Old Testament and later New Testament Scripture give the book great value as an aid to Bible Study. We commend this book to God Himself for the blessing of His people.
The author has pointed out an important printing error; "cannot" should read "can" on line 15 of page 51s this alters the sense completely. A. T. s.