Subscribe now

Word to the World: The Collected Writing of William Barker

By William Barker
June 2007 | Review by Gareth Williams
  • Publisher: Mentor
  • ISBN: 978-1845500504
  • Pages: 320
  • Price: £11.99
Buy this book »

Book Review

These collected writings seek to show the relevance of the Word of God to a variety of social, ethical and church historical issues. The author examines some complex topics, and presents them generally in a straightforward and interesting manner.
While the essays handling biblical passages are sound, the historical and ‘Church and state’ essays are more rewarding and offer useful insights. These include the social views of Charles Hodge (topical for its treatment of slavery), a response to Greg Bahnsen on theonomy, and an analysis of the Rogers and McKim proposal about biblical inerrancy. Essays that are mildly polemical are, nevertheless, well written, warm in tone and pastoral in intent. Profiles on some of the Westminster Assembly, as well as on other Puritans, are highly informative.
The essays vary considerably in length and some are repetitious. Taken together, the essays and the title of the book seem a little ‘forced’ and the reader may become frustrated by a lack of clear logical development. Some of the essays are more suitable for the lecture room than the pew; some are specialised; some leave readers to deduce and make their own applications; and some lack practical relevance.
To be sure, the writer demonstrates the value of historical study in aspects of today’s political and church climates, both in the UK and especially America. This respected church historian writes with ruminative skill and readers with the time can ‘chew the cud’ to their satisfaction – although the book remains a bit of a ‘mixed bag’.

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
The Christian and Technology
John V. Fesko

Even the most hardened Luddite will find himself using a satnav, mobile phone, or email on occasion. But John Fesko urges us not to reach for the latest gadget without thinking carefully about how it might shape our minds, relationships,…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Christ Victorious: Selected Writings of Hugh Martin
Hugh Martin

Hugh Martin (1822–1885) was one of those 19th century Scottish theologians whose published works have stood the test of time. With good reason, for his works are consistently sound, reverent, edifying, and challenging to mind and heart. This is a…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
God’s design for women in an age of gender confusion
Sharon James

Is our belief in male headship culturally outdated, and should we see alternative ideas of marriage as ‘progress’? Is it possible to be born into the wrong body, and is sexual freedom good for women? Does Scripture show us a…

Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan

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…