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ss nucleus - spring 1999,  Practising Faith In A Pagan World (Book Review)

Practising Faith In A Pagan World (Book Review)

Practising Faith In A Pagan World - Roy Clements - IVP - £5.99, Pb 224pp

Do you ever feel that you are becoming isolated as a Christian in an increasingly secular world? Do you find it hard to hold onto your Christian principles in today’s pluralistic society? Are you a Christian at university? If any of these apply to you, this little book is an absolute must, especially if you’re coming to the CMF conference this January!

Roy Clements shows us how the lessons in Ezekiel and Daniel can be applied to our lives today. The first half of the book deals with Ezekiel, who can be hard to understand because of his strange visions and antics (eg burning his beard!) but Clements’s explanations are clear and make perfect sense. The book reassures us that the Lord is a God of people, not of places, and not to despair when churches die. It points out the dangers of attractive but false teaching and warns us against tailoring our faith to fit in. It exhorts us to stop treating the Bible as a pet, and to appreciate its power.

The central section is a marvellous exegesis of Ezekiel’s incredible allegory of God as a loving and faithful husband to faithless Jerusalem. This really brings home to us how we have treated the One who made us, how dangerous backsliding is, whilst reminding us of the inexhaustible grace of God.

Clements then shows us how Daniel clung to his principles and faith unswervingly in an hostile, pagan atmosphere, and suggests how we can do the same. The book reminds us of just who is sovereign over the kingdoms of the earth, and that God humbles everyone in the end, even the mightiest of kings; (we are not self-made people, but are who we are by the grace of God).

The closing chapters reveal the hope we have for the future, despite the declining influence of Christianity in society. It reminds us of the role we have to play in bringing new life to the dry bones of the people around us, if it is God’s will.

This is a wonderful, inspirational book, easy to read and hard to put down. Very highly recommended!

Reviewed by
Rosie Beal-Preston
Medical Student
ICSM at St Mary’s

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