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’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

The Way of Life: Christian belief and experience
Charles Hodge

The aim of this book is to promote holiness, and the author’s view is that ‘the exhibition of the truth is the best means of promoting holiness’ (p.5). Thus he sets out in the first chapter to demonstrate that the…

See all book reviews
The History and Theology of Calvinism
Curt Daniel

This must be the most comprehensive study of the subject available today. It is difficult to think of any aspect of Calvinism that is not covered. It is divided into two major sections. The first covers the history, and ranges…

Searching Our Hearts in Difficult Times
John Owen

It is difficult to do this book justice in a review – the only way to grasp how helpful it is will be to read it for yourself. John Owen has a reputation for writing in a style that is…

An Introduction to John Owen: A Christian vision for every stage of life
Crawford Gribben

It is difficult to do this book justice in a review – the only way to grasp how helpful it is will be to read it for yourself. John Owen has a reputation for writing in a style that is…