We should trust the Bible, says Timothy Paul Jones, because it is ‘grounded in the words of a man who died and rose again’ (p.111). Jones’s basic presupposition is this: ‘If we live in a world where it is possible…
- Publisher: Day One Publications
- ISBN: 978-1846251665
- Pages: 144
- Price: £4.35
This is primarily a book for preachers, as the title suggests — and the subtitle is essential to understand the main title aright!
The author bases his exposition of the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit on 2 Corinthians 4:1-6. This leads him to these four chapter headings — ‘Condemnation without illumination’; ‘Communication for illumination’; ‘Conversion by illumination’; and ‘Convictions through illumination’. There is also an Appendix which lists all the biblical references to illumination, both direct and indirect.
The subject is a very important one and those who preach always need to be reminded to prepare in dependence upon the Holy Spirit for the necessary insight and conviction. I think, however, that the author has tried to include too much under the heading of illumination.
It would have been useful for illumination to have been linked more directly with other aspects of the Spirit’s work. Illumination and regeneration, for example, are linked, but they are not the same. British readers may find some Americanisms rather off-putting.
This book is valuable, and well worth thinking through, but it did leave me with a question. If a preacher truly submits mind and heart to the Holy Spirit and preaches, as far as he can tell, with a Spirit-filled heart longing for the salvation of his hearers, is it adequate simply to say if no conversions result that he has a ministry of condemnation? Is there nothing more for him to consider, and nothing more for him to plead from God?