Saturday, January 10, 2009

Book Review: Comfort for Christians by A. W. Pink

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is the second book by Pink that I have read; the first being The Attributes of God. Both Pink's style and content I find edifying, encouraging, and educating.

In terms of style, Pink is a "straight shooter". He is an economical writer who writes with precision. But his frugality in words does not mean he is dry or boring. Rather, he writes with a certain flair and eloquence. He gets his points across in quick order but with a flourish that I really appreciate. For example:"One second of glory will outweigh a lifetime of suffering. What were the years of toil, of sickness, of battling with poverty, of sorrow in any or every form, when compared with the glory of Immanuel's land! One draught of the river of pleasure at God's right hand, one breath of Paradise, one hour amid the blood-washed around the throne, shall more than compensate for all the tears and groans of earth."

His style of writing is also one which is saturated with scripture. Each chapter is really just an exposition of a verse from the Bible. And along with many scripture references to emphasize his points he incorporates a technique that I really enjoy: he inserts scripture mid-sentence to complete his thought with inspired words. I realize this can be done flippantly with adverse affect to the reader, but this can also be done responsibly and this technique speaks to me. Here is this literary tool in use: How we shall then praise Him for His covenant faithfulness, His matchless grace, and His loving kindness, for having "remembered us in our low estate! Then shall we know, even as we are known. Our very memories will be renewed, perfected, and we shall remember all the way the Lord our God hath led us" (Deut. 8:2), recalling with gratitude and joy His faithful remembrances, acknowledging with adoration that "His mercy endureth for ever."

Using Isaiah 40:1 as a directive, Pink explains that we are all, as Christians, charged with bringing comfort one to another. With this in mind, Pink covers many topics in his attempt to do so: condemnation, assurance, God's character, trials, chastisement, suffering, punishment, rewards, and the beatitudes. And though this work would certainly be of benefit for Christians who are going through some sort of intense suffering, it is also edifying to those not currently experiencing difficulties. It is an apt tool for preparing for the unavoidable suffering that the Bible assures us is the lot of every believer.

I definitely recommend this book and encourage you to read this and other works of A. W. Pink.

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