Reformed Reflections

Four Marks of a Total Christian, by Bruce L. Shelley;
published by Victor Books, A division of S.P. Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 1825, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, 1978; 63 pp.;

What does it mean to be a follower of Christ? What is Christianity? Is true faith "an accurate creedal statement?" Or is it "some high voltage religious experience?" Bruce Shelley, professor of church history at Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado, asserts that ''total Christianity has four distinctive but inseparably related sides: obedience, truth, experience, and community." He asks evangelicals some straight forward questions and criticizes their emphasis on experience and lack of obedient living.

''Evangelicalism,'' claims Shelley, "is a movement that is supposed to celebrate the initiative and sovereignty of God -- that is our Reformation and Puritan heritage -- but we seem to be obsessed with power, personality, therapy, sensitivity, and human need. Where is God? Where is holiness? Where is theology?" For Shelley, total Christianity "is Christ. That is what he tried to get his first disciples to see. He was their Law, their Truth, their Life, their Oneness. And for us, that is still the crux of the matter." (pg.63)

This little book is not only meant for the reader's own personal benefit; it is also intended for group study.

Johan D. Tangelder.