BOOK REVIEW: Alistair Begg, Truth for Life: 365 Daily Devotions, United Kingdom: The Good Book Company, 2021.

            Books on daily readings for a year have come into a life of their own in recent times. Alistair Begg has given us daily readings, plus a reading plan to get through the Bible in a year. In 1932 Albert Einstein observed: ‘Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here involuntarily and uninvited for a short stay, without knowing the whys and the wherefore.’ Those who look to God’s word are spared from that. The comments on each passage of Scripture are always helpful, and sometimes very incisive, as when Begg writes that ‘Too often Christians are terrific at leisure but lousy at resting’ (March 3). False teachers who flatter their hearers are called out (March 19).

            There are challenging stories such as the one about a deacon in the 1960s who sat cross-legged on the floor next to an unkempt hippie who had wandered in an evening service in San Francisco (July 3). My favourite is his citation of Charles Wesley’s hymn, for August 12:

            Depth of mercy! Can there be mercy still reserved for me?

            Can my God His wrath forbear? Me, the chief of sinners, spare?

            I have long withstood His grace: long provoked Him to His face:

Would not hearken to His calls; grieved Him by a thousand falls …

            There for me the Saviour stands, shows His wounds and spreads His hands.

God is love! I know, I feel; Jesus weeps, but loves me still.

A reviewer has to quibble about something, so it should be pointed out that ‘disinterest’ refers to impartiality, not a lack of interest (Jan.2; Feb.28). All in all, this is a welcome set of devotions, and volume 2 is now also available.

 –  Peter Barnes