Reformed Reflections

Loving God by Charles W .Colson.
Zondervan Publish Mich. 1983, Hardcover, 225 pp.,

Having read Colson's first book Born Again, his conversion story and post Watergate tribulations, and now Loving God, I became impressed by his progress towards spiritual maturity. Colson's conversion was not just an emotional event. He has become a well versed Christian of earnest conviction and total commitment. His life is an impressive demonstration of God's power.

Colson is troubled by what he witnesses in modern American style Christianity. He laments over the church's invasion by materialism and success. Does the Church still know how to bear the cross? What would happen if we apply God's truth to today's world? Colson believes that "the result would be a world turned upside down, revolutionized by the power of God working through individual Christians and the church as a whole." In his longing to see the church return to the basics, Colson explores the day-to-day implications of the first and greatest commandment, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Only when the church truly loves God will she understand again her mission. Her mission? "The church does not draw people in; it sends them out. It does not settle into a comfortable niche, taking its place alongside the Rotary, the Elks, and the country club. Rather, the church is to make society uncomfortable. Like yeast, it unsettles the mass around it, changing it from within. Like salt, it flavours and preserves that into which it vanishes."

Colson has a unique way of introducing basic Bible concepts. And each one is amply and well illustrated by incidents from ancient or recent history or from his own Prison Fellowship experiences. For example, the moving account of the converted Russian Jewish medical doctor, Kornfeld, whose testimony was instrumental in leading the now famed Alexander Solzhenitsyn to Jesus Christ, vividly illustrates the Christian's call to obedience. We must obey God without questioning. "The very nature of obedience He demands" writes Colson, "is that it be given without regard to circumstances or results." Another touching elucidation is the story of Barabbas' release and the crucifixion scene in Golgotha. Rarely have I read such a powerfu! description.

I appreciate Colson's emphasis on man's sinful nature and the need for repentance. He rightly says that the call to repentance – individual and corporate – is one of the most consistent themes in Scripture. The lack of a call to repentance results in a watered-down message that in a large part accounts for today's epidemic spread of easy believism.

Loving God is impressive, dynamic, provocative, and spiritually uplifting. One of the finest recent evangelical publications! Reading the book is a soul searching and a life changing spiritual journey.

Johan D. Tangelder,
June, 1984