“Good Morning Alice,” by Gise J. VanBaren. Grand Rapids: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 1994. 157 pp. $11.50 (paper). [Reviewed by Prof. Robert D. Decker.]
We quote from the jacket of the book: “Alice (the author’s sister, RDD) was dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, RDD). During the last stages of her illness, notes from an anonymous friend arrived daily to comfort and encourage Alice. Each note reflected on a Scripture passage. These reflections helped Alice come to terms with her suffering and brought her to acknowledge the sovereignty of God in His way for her.
“The author skillfully weaves these letters into his account of and commentary on Alice’s illness and death. In these pages the reader also can find comfort and strength to endure the sufferings, discouragements, and tragedies which come to each child of God and can find the joy and peace of trusting God in all His works and ways.”
God’s children who struggle with terminal illness, or those who have loved ones struggling with serious or terminal illness, will want to read this moving account. Any believer who wrestles with the question of how a good God can cause His beloved saints to suffer will benefit from the book and from the preface which was written by Prof. Herman Hanko.
Gise J. Van Baren is a minister in the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. He at present serves the Protestant Reformed Church in Loveland, Colorado.
The RFPA is to be commended for making this moving story available to the reading public.
Studies in I Thessalonians, by Cornelius Hanko. Grand Rapids: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 1994.29 pp. $3.95 (paper). [Reviewed by Prof. Robert D. Decker.]
Studies in II Thessalonians, by Cornelius Hanko. Grand Rapids: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 1994. 22 pp. $3.95 (paper). [Reviewed by Prof. Robert D. Decker.]
These are two excellent study guides on the epistles to the Thessalonians written by the Rev. Cornelius Hanko, a minister emeritus in the Protestant Reformed Churches.
Rev. Hanko divides I Thessalonians into nine sections or lessons, the first of which is introductory in nature and provides an overview of the entire epistle. Each lesson begins with a brief introduction. This is followed by a series of questions and/or comments in outline form. There are numerous references to other Scripture passages which help the reader compare Scripture with Scripture. The author uses the same format in the six lessons or sections of the booklet on II Thessalonians.
These two booklets could profitably be used by Bible study societies in the churches. They would be helpful to God’s people in their personal study of the Scriptures as well.
We highly recommend them.
Scent From Heaven, by Timothy Cross. Ambassador Productions Limited. 16 Hillview Ave., Belfast BT5 6JR, Northern Ireland, 1994. 95 pp. No price (paper). [Reviewed by. Prof. H. Hanko.]
I came to know the author of this little booklet at the Conference in Galashiels, Scotland in the summer of 1994. I found him a man deeply devoted to the Reformed faith and interested in learning as much of it as he could. The books I have seen from him are predominantly devotional. Scent From Heaven falls into this category.
The title of the book is intended to impart the author’s main thesis: Just as, in the world of plants, some plants will release their aroma only if they are crushed, so is the “crushing” or “bruising” of Christ on Calvary the way in which the sweet aroma of the blessings of salvation become our possession.
The author sinks the roots of his thinking deeply into the typology of the Old Testament, beginning with the perfumed oil which was used to anoint those who held special offices in the Old Testament church. From that starting point, he applies the figure to various aspects of Old Testament typology and different aspects of the believer’s life in the world.
The book is clearly written and easily understood. It has short chapters which are particularly conducive to personal devotions. It will give the reader much on which to reflect as the reader is led to ponder different truths in Scripture.