This is an unusual but potentially most effective little book to use to reach the unbeliever. Geoff Thomas writes: ‘The greatest proof for the existence of God is the Lord Jesus Christ (p.1)’. That may overstate things, but the Christian knows what he means. In Christ, the Christian possesses all things – hence the title of the book. There are some apt quotations throughout, notably a lengthy one from Daniel Rowlands on the depth and range of the promise in Romans 8:28 (pp.46-47).
Augustus Toplady was another who was convinced of the doctrine of providence, and so wrote:
The fictitious power of chance
And fortune I defy.
My life’s minutest circumstance
Is subject to his eye.
Christians have everything, but do not always live like that is true. Edward Donnelly once confessed that he would much rather address a thousand atheists in a hall than try to witness to a lone man in an airport terminal (p.67). I think many of us know what he means.
The title and the approach might give the impression that the experienced Geoff Thomas, who pastored a Baptist church at Aberystwyth in Wales for over fifty years, has finally embraced the man-centred prosperity gospel. Not so at all! Yuval Noah Harari, a teacher endorsed by Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, has declared: ‘As far as we can tell from a purely scientific viewpoint human life has absolutely no meaning.’ Indeed, ‘any meaning that people ascribe to their lives is just a delusion’ (pp.69-70).’ If that feels wrong, it is because it is wrong. We frequently look through the opposite end of the telescope. The claim that the earth is the only inhabited planet in the universe is often ridiculed as a waste, which shows that there is no good and beneficent God. But it is not about us. The heavens declare the glory of God (Ps.19:1). If the universe overawes us, what will its Creator do!
We can have it all, because the God who made it all offers it to us – the knowledge of God, of ourselves, the experience of sins forgiven, a new status as a child of God, all things working for your good, contentment in all circumstances, strength and wisdom, purpose in life, being part of a forever community of the best and happiest people on earth, and assurance of life everlasting. It is all there!
– Peter Barnes
Buy “You Can Have it All” from Reformers Bookshop
Peter Barnes is the editor of AP and pastor at Revesby Presbyterian Church NSW.