Review combined with 1 Thessalonians: 30-day devotional by Alec Motyer
IVP has added two new entries to the teeming field of daily devotional literature. These are part of a planned series based on messages from past Keswick Convention speakers. There are related teaching CD packs available (essentialchristian.com).
The authors are two Anglican clergymen. Alec Motyer, recently deceased, was, at one time, Principal of Trinity College, Bristol. Michael Baughen is the retired Bishop of Chester. Both books were edited by Elizabeth McQuoid for publication.
They both make for easy reading on a basic-to-average level of theological understanding. They are aimed at mainstream evangelical readers, I would judge. There are warm-hearted and helpful things in both books and the editor has added questions and further application at the end of each day’s reading.
What is unusual about these books is that the entire 30-day devotional is based on a whole book of the Bible. So, in addition to the daily devotional element, the reader will glean some exposition and an overview of one whole book of the Bible.
On day 4 of 1 Thessalonians, Mr Motyer provides a short treatment of the subject of election. His comments would be of benefit especially to new believers or those who are grappling with this deep subject. Day 15 contains insightful pastoral comments on suffering.
In 2 Timothy, there were some apt encouragements and challenges, but I did find myself, just occasionally, wondering where he came up with some of his ideas. Sometimes there was an omission, like on days 24 and 25 on 2 Timothy 3:16.
There is excellent practical application of Scripture. There is also an insistence that all of the Bible is God’s Word and ‘inspired’. That is commendable, but what is meant by those words? It would have been good to hear a clear affirmation of God’s word being without error.
The books are small and easy to carry. That each covers one whole book of the Bible and provides exposition as well as devotion is an attractive feature. From the standpoint of exposition, between the two I would choose Mr Motyer.