The Man Sent From God – Samuel W. Jennings

Paperback, 160pp. Published by The Ministry for Europe Trust, 39 Ardmore Road, Holywood, Northern Ireland. BT18 0PJ. Price: £7.99. ISBN 5-060165-210565.

The Man Sent From God is a comprehensive character study of John the Baptist. Jennings leaves no stone unturned as he systematically analyses the life of the forerunner of the Lord Jesus. There is no doubt that the author’s intention is not only to direct our attention to the Baptist, but also to the One of whom the Baptist spoke so often, the One ‘who must increase’. This, Jennings achieves with great success.

There are ten chapters which consider the life of John in a chronological order. Some chapters include: The Prophecies that went Beforehand; The Announcement of the Birth of John; John, the Forerunner of the Lord; The Testimony of Christ to John; and John the Baptist and Elijah.

Undoubtedly this is a broad and detailed study of every aspect of John’s life. There is a strong emphasis in the book on the practical lessons which can be drawn from the teaching and this is both helpful and insightful. Occasionally the author is prone to wander, but these are generally side streets which are most interesting, including a detailed analysis of the burials of various Old Testament patriarchs and a comparison and contrast of the lives and ministry of Elijah and Elisha.

Despite this, the book is one I found to be quite difficult to read. Such is the writer’s style that much of the text is punctuated with tables, bullet-points and very short paragraphs. In addition, the editing of the book is poor, often referring to ‘Zachariah’ (rather than Zacharias) and at one point ‘Rebecca’ (rather than Rebekah). There are numerous grammar and spelling mistakes all of which punctuate the flow of the book.

Notwithstanding the minor editorial irritants, the book in general was interesting to read and offered much food for thought, not only in practical Christian living but also on the Person of Christ. What sweeter subject could there be? This book is recommended, but perhaps better as a reference aid than a general reading book.

[Our thanks to Dan Rudge, Bracknell, England, for this review]

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