Sunday, May 24, 2015

Enslaved to Saved : The Metaphor of Christ as our Master

book review


This is an entirely new adventure for me - this writing a book review. I haven't written a book review since I was in school and have no desire to publish how long ago that was. I have read literally a ton of books since then but any reviews have been kept between me and myself. When Reid approached me to participate in the blog tour for his book I was immensely flattered and mildly overwhelmed as scholarly discussion of this type is not my usual day-to-day. I was also intrigued by the opportunity and although book reviews are outside the normal scope of this blog  I am very happy I accepted his invitation. 

This book is not long; it is meaty and not a fast read. I savoured my way through it, pausing to consider and evaluate my response to his thoughts at least once every page. He develops his theme thoroughly and well leaving one satisfied and well-converted to the humble nature of our relationship to Jesus Christ.

I have long been a fan of Neal A. Maxwell's writings and teachings - his turn of phrase and beautiful economy of language - and one thought that I have turned over in my mind often and often is that the only thing we have that is truly ours to offer on the altar is our will, all the rest is the Lord's already and anyway. There is a thoughtful exploration and development of this theme through the theme of slavery and freedom. 

As residents in a modern (western) world with all the emphasis we place on freedom, individuality, personal expression and rights the idea that we have only true freedom through being slaves (total indebtedness to one who has redeemed us from sin) is opposite the norm. Reid convinces his reader that although we can make a personal determination as to whether we will accept or pass on what is offered us by Christ the price has been paid and we are His. Our enslavement to him provides us the ultimate freedom that we enjoy as his heirs and without the bondage that inevitably accompanies sin. The book explores these concepts against a backdrop of the historical context of slavery and manumission; the analogy becomes sharply clear and very important. I would recommend Enslaved to Saved to any student of the New Testament, the life of Christ and the Gospel he proclaimed. It will be a treasured volume in my library - sure to be well-thumbed and dog-eared before long.

W. Reid Litchfield is an intelligent, articulate, accomplished and well-educated individual. A Harvard educated endocrinologist, the recipient of many Top Doctor awards, a wise father and tender husband, he is also my much-loved and admired brother-in-law. Writing a book review for anyone has potential for issues but when that someone is a someone you care about and desire to retain a healthy relationship with ... I am sure it is easy can see the potential for disaster there. Having no desire to perjure myself I am happy to report that I had no need to.