Making Disciples – The Thessalonian Way – Tim Mather

Paperback, 190 pages, Published by Gospel Folio Press, 304 Killaly St. West, Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada, L3K 6A6. ISBN 978-1-926765-99-0.

The notes on the back cover of this book provide a helpful outline: ‘This book has been written primarily for the benefit of those who have the wonderful privilege and responsibility of helping to bring up some of God’s children; for anyone who has the opportunity of coming alongside new or growing believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and helping them mature in the Christian faith’. This book is not another detailed commentary on the two Epistles to the Thessalonians. It is not for the student of theology. If the reader is looking for a detailed analysis of prophecy, a topic that is covered in the Epistles, they are likely to be unsatisfied, although there is material that would be most helpful in the context of understanding the teaching of the Epistles and prophecy. Mather’s style throughout is to engage the heart and challenge each of us, young and old, regarding our Christian life and testimony. There are many points that are made that will challenge and a few quotations may enable us to get a glimpse of the value of this book: ‘If we feel little towards those who we are instructing, then we urgently need to stop and take stock’; ‘While he was with them, Paul laboured night and day with his hands for the Thessalonians (2:9). Now that he is apart from them, he labours night and day for them on his knees’; ‘Sadly, in these days, the greatest moral dangers often come not from the world, but from the church’.

What makes Mather’s book both an easy and informative read is the way he breaks up his chapters with headings which ably summarize sections, and by the use of apt illustrations which help to make the truth taught understandable and practical. Although prophecy is fraught with difficulties of interpretation, Mather is orthodox in his dealings with 1 Thessalonians chapters 4 and 5, and 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. Some readers might have liked a more detailed justification in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, but the overall aim of the book is to consider ‘Making Disciples’. Overall, this is a very helpful volume and a worthy addition to a believer’s library.

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