People determined to believe that Christianity is boring and irrelevant should not read The Bible Theft by the Revd Dr Peter Sanlon because they might find their prejudices being disturbed.
This 179-page book is a collection of eight superb sermons originally preached in 2017 to the congregation of St Mark’s Tunbridge Wells whom Dr Sanlon serves as vicar. The sermons aimed to alert the congregation to the seriousness of the anti-biblical teaching that has been spreading through the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.
So, the chapters bear the marks of being forged in the heat of frontline pastoral ministry and that is what makes them so exciting to read. The directness of Dr Sanlon’s appeal to Christian people to engage with God’s truth in the teeth of the world’s lies is so very spiritually refreshing. Here is an example from the sermon on Romans 1v18-32, entitled ‘Loving Clarity to a Confused World’:
‘The Bible’s teaching is what God uses to make us spiritually healthy: to give us vibrant relationships with God and with other people…Faithful churches guard the Bible’s teaching because it is the key to people having good relationships with one another and with God.’
Here is another example from the masterly sermon on Revelation 2v18-29 – ‘When Toleration must not be Tolerated’:
‘To say that Jesus accepts anybody as they are is really a half-truth. And it is a dangerous half-truth. Jesus will indeed accept anybody, but he proves that they are accepted by Him by changing them.’
This tremendously accessible and intelligent book from the pastoral frontline breathes the excitement of Christian truth and thus commends the Faith to both Christians and non-Christians.
February AD 2019