Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Book Review: Straightening Out The Self-Centred Church

Back in the summer, we went on holiday to Crete. There was only one possible Bible book I could study while on the island, and that was Titus. Titus was stationed on the island when Paul wrote this letter to him, famous for its declaration (in the words of one of their own prophets) that the Cretans are 'always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.' (1:12)

Most commentaries tend to lump together the Pastoral Epistles (1&2 Timothy and Titus), so this commentary in the Welwyn series by John Benton was perfect for taking on holiday. A single volume on Titus, and a helpful guide through the text.

Through eleven easy to read chapters, Benton takes the reader through the 46 verses of the letter to Titus. As you can see, the chapters take little chunks and help the reader understand not only what Paul is saying, but also what it means for the modern reader as well. The exegesis is helpful, the tone is warm, as the grace of God which has appeared is highlighted and emphasised time and time again. Benton writes with the heart of a pastor, seeking to encourage and grow the flock of Christ with his well chosen words.

The final chapter gives a final overview of the various parts of the letter, helpfully showing how it all fits together, and giving a good summary of the takeaway lessons. The church on Crete was self-centred and selfish; out for themselves, not really worrying about sound teaching or caring for others. 'The cure for self-centred Christians is the truth about God our Saviour. This is the truth that leads to godliness.'

All in all, this is a good guide to the book, and helpful for those who are preparing to teach from Titus, whether or not they are currently on the island of Crete!

Straightening out the Self-centred Church is available from Amazon.

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