From the Resurrection to His Return by Dr Don A Carson is a short book which is full of practical, sound advice. It has only five chapters which are centred around the last half of the apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy. Each chapter leads into the next in a logical way. I think this is an ideal book for people who don’t particularly enjoy reading because it is so concise; its very shortness makes it accessible.
Dr Carson looks at the fact that in these last days we live in difficult times, with evil people becoming more evil. Therefore, he exhorts us to choose godly mentors who we can look up to and imitate, as we see them following Jesus Christ. Some of you, like me, may feel woefully inadeqate to say to a younger Christian: ‘Do you want to know what Christianity is like? Watch me.’ Yet Dr Carson insists that it is unbiblical not to do this. The apostle Paul had sussed that many things are learned as much by example as they are by word, and Dr Carson agrees with him. He then backs this up by telling a powerful true story (you’ll have to read the book to find out what it is – but it’s both challenging and heart-warming).
In the third chapter, Dr Carson warns Christians not to be naive with regard to evil. He writes: ‘Christians should never, ever be surprised by evil. While we should always be horrified by evil, we should never be surprised by it. Do not adopt a Pollyannaish view of things. Do not be surprised by evil. Hold few illusions about the world. There are many times we should be horrified – surprised, never.’
In the last two chapters, Dr Carson exhorts us to hold onto the Bible and to pass it on to others. It’s not a magic book, as in ‘a verse a day keeps the devil away’ but it’s a book that points us to Jesus. The Jesus who saves and transforms lives, and who by His death and resurrection offers us a relationship with God. The Bible makes us ‘wise to salvation’ – it shows us Jesus and His Father and how much they love us. It tells us of the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit, who they are very happy to pour out on anyone who asks for Him.
Finally, Dr Carson encourages us to share Bible truths with others. In doing so, we become part of a long relay race stretching back to Jesus and the first apostles, and looking ahead to the next generation.
From the Resurrection to His Return is a valuable book because it warns us from the Scriptures of the pitfalls of living in the last days, and shows us practically how to live aright in our time.
I am grateful to Christian Focus Publications for providing me with a complimentary Kindle version of this book for the purposes of writing a review. I can highly recommend it.