Review of Mark G. Johnston, This World is not my Home: Reflections For Pilgrims On The Way, Edinburgh: The Banner Of Truth Trust, 2021.

A glance at the title and subtitle of this book might tempt us to characterise it as ‘Pilgrim’s Progress For Today’. This would be somewhat wide of the mark, for unlike Bunyan’s famous book, this is not an allegory. It deals with real people facing real-life situations and asking sometimes perplexing questions as it brings Biblical faith to bear on our understanding of life’s problems, persevering through difficulties and facing challenging situations on our journey through life on Earth.

            Mark Johnston, minister of Trinity Church, Richhill, Northern Ireland, ministered in the United States some years ago, and his being classified as a ‘resident alien’ led him to see this status as ‘echoing the Bible’s designation for the spiritual residence status we have as Christians in this world. Although in this life our “home” is planet Earth, it is only as temporary residents. We actually and ultimately belong somewhere else. Our citizenship is in Heaven.’

            In the course of 30 articles divided into five sections, ‘From Eden To The New Jerusalem’, ‘Christ The Pioneer And Perfector Of Our Salvation’, ‘The Church: God’s Pilgrim People’, ‘Living The Pilgrim Life’ and ‘Rejoicing In Hope And Heading For Home,’ our author takes us through the whole gamut of life from before the beginning to after the end and leaves us with a sense of true joy in the Lord and ‘bright hope for tomorrow’.

            The publishers tell us that ‘This is a pastoral, thoughtful, encouraging, challenging and, above all, radically God-centred book … Here is a call to all Christians to live as pilgrims, pressing onwards and upwards to our eternal home, where God in His triune glory dwells’ – to which this reviewer says ‘Amen!’                                        

– Bob Thomas.