Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Christopher Ash - Out of the Storm

It's pretty rare I read a devotional commentary-type book that's this good. It's on the book of Job, and I heard a good sermon series spinning off from it last year. What I didn't realise was that the book was much, much better. Chris Ash used to be one of the ministers at a church I went to, and he was always very good pastorally and a pretty good preacher too. In this book, he does stunningly well at both. (And he's the director of the Cornhill Training Course, and these aren't three point sermons delivered in a didactic and unemotional style). And in the unlikely event that Mr Ash is reading this, any good is because God is choosing to work through him, and the honour and glory go to God, not to Chris Ash.

Here's a quote that I read this morning:

That is the conversation of Job 1-2. What is the only sure test by which the world will know who are real worshippers of the true God and who are just pretending? Answer: loss and suffering. The only sure test is to strip from worshippers something of value, and then we shall see if they really worship the living God and bow down to him simply because he is God. Only when worship comes at a cost may we tell if it is true. Suffering is the fire that refines and reveals the heart of worship.

And the list of commentaries I recommend, including devotional sermon-type commentaries is here.

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