Subscribe now

Am I A Christian?

By James Fraser
January 2010 | Review by David Cooke


James Fraser endured a long conflict with doubts, but herein provides a helpful record of how he overcame his fears and arrived at a firm assurance of his salvation in Christ.

  • Publisher: Banner of Truth
  • ISBN: 978-1848710146
  • Pages: 88
  • Price: £1.42
Buy this book »

Book Review

A lack of assurance has hampered the testimony and undermined the joy of many of the Lord’s people down the centuries. The author of this little book certainly experienced this, as he notes in the introduction: ‘I find that it has been [the tempter’s] first and greatest object to make me doubt of my conversion.’

This book, in the Banner of Truth’s Pocket Puritans series, is an extract from the memoirs of James Fraser of Brea (1639-1698), in which he sets out twenty ‘grounds’ for doubting his conversion, together with his answers to them.

Some of the grounds overlap slightly and many indicate a high degree of spiritual sensitivity, and perhaps an excessive introspection, though his answers are always robustly clear and biblical.

In the course of addressing his doubts, Fraser deals helpfully with a number of related topics, such as the problem of apparently unanswered prayer (ground 9), the struggles between the flesh and spirit (11), and the problem of indwelling sin (15). The writer was a Puritan and this is reflected in the language, but the style is still relatively simple and the text laid out clearly.

At the back of the book is a brief sketch of Fraser’s life. This is interesting and would perhaps have been better placed at the start of the book, particularly as the author is probably not the most well-known James Fraser in church history.

Also appended is a useful article by Alexander Whyte discussing Fraser’s use of the word ‘conversion’ to cover the whole of a Christian’s life. But one questions Whyte’s wisdom in likening Fraser to the Tractarian John Keble, without qualification.

The book could be a help to believers tempted to doubt their standing in Christ because of their own felt inadequacies, though there is the danger that a person struggling with this could be tempted to add ‘ground 21’ for doubts –– namely, that he or she has not had the deep exercises of soul that James Fraser had!

Let any such deal with this doubt as Fraser would have done, by recalling that ‘Heaven comes by grace, by Christ’s blood, and not by works; works are not your title to glory’ (p.60) –– not even the work of spiritual self-examination!

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Understanding Suicide and Euthaniasia – A Contemporary and Biblical Perspective
Eryl Davies

It is with sensitivity and a pastoral heart that Eryl Davies addresses these complex and controversial issues. Statistics alone demand that a biblical perspective is given to these topics. In 1969, an estimated 51% of the UK population was in…

See all book reviews
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock

These three punchy books address pressing issues: what the Bible teaches about lust (on desire), about homosexuality (on Biblical sexuality) and about transgenderism (on identity). The trilogy approach keeps each book short and focused while dovetailing effectively. Each book has…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
A Beginner’s Guide To Church History
Philip Parsons

This book is a must-read for every Christian, which covers a wide period from the apostolic age to the church under Communism. There are numerous excellent works on church history, like Philip Schaff’s eight volumes, or Andrew Miller’s three volumes,…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Who Am I? Human Identity and the Gospel in a Confusing World
Thomas Fretwell

In today’s secular society, religion is often regarded as without rational or scientific basis, and therefore irrelevant to life in the modern world and all areas of public engagement. If that is our social context, then it is no wonder…