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‘The Faith-shaped Life’ – A Review by Peter Barnes

Author
Category Book Reviews
Date March 5, 2014

To live by faith is surely the hardest thing in the world.

As Calvin put it:

Our circumstances are all in opposition to the promises of God. He promises us immortality: yet we are surrounded by mortality and corruption. He declares that He accounts us just: yet we are covered with sins. He testifies that He is propitious and benevolent towards us: yet outward signs threaten His wrath. What then are we to do?1

It is indeed the question that confronts us. Churches use the word ‘faith’ with much regularity, but we often focus on our faith rather that what is to be the object of that faith.

In 43 short studies in The Faith-shaped Life,2 Ian Hamilton manages to be both simple and deep in helping us to understand the life of faith better. It is a little gem, full of insight born of a deep biblical understanding, an impressive grasp of the human heart, and extensive pastoral experience. Only once did I hesitate. The possibility of church discipline is raised in cases of lovelessness, gossip, back-biting, and envy. One can appreciate the problem without being convinced that formal church discipline would be helpful in such cases.

This is a work which will stimulate and encourage believers, be they young in the faith or older pilgrims. Order in a supply, and make good use of them!

Notes

  1. From Calvin’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans; on Romans 4:20.
    • cover image for The Faith Shaped Life by Ian Hamilton
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      To live by faith is surely the hardest thing in the world. As Calvin put it: Our circumstances are all in opposition to the promises of God. He promises us immortality: yet we are surrounded by mortality and corruption. He declares that He accounts us just: yet we are covered with sins. He testifies that […]

Peter Barnes is pastor of Revesby Presbyterian Church in the suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. This review is taken with permission from Revesby Presbyterian News. Notes added.

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