Saturday, April 10, 2010

‘Be Authentic: Exhibiting Real Faith in the Real World’ by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe – Book Review

Buzz this
Be Authentic: Exhibiting Real Faith in the Real World’ is Dr. Warren Wierbe’s commentary on Genesis 25-50, covering the lives of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.  Here is Dr. Wiersbe’s explanation for why we should study the lives of these three men:

Why study these three authentic men?  Because we live in a world of pseudosaints and artificial heroes, many of whom are manufactured by the media and puffed by the promoters.  The other thing some well-known Christians are known for is that they’re well known.  Apart from that, there’s nothing distinctive about them.  They belong to the herd.  (pp. 13-14) 

Dr. Wiersbe has had a long and storied career.  He’s an internationally known Bible teacher and the former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago.  For ten years he was associated with the Back to the Bible radio broadcast, first as Bible teacher and then as general director.  He has written more than 160 books, including the “BE” series of Bible commentaries (of which ‘Be Authentic’ is one), which have sold more than four million copies.  He and his wife, Betty, live in Lincoln, Nebraska.  An interesting side note – the church which I attend is also attended by one of Dr. Wiersbe’s daughters.  What a blessing to have Dr. Wiersbe as a father!

I was especially intrigued by the chapters covering the life of Joseph (Genesis 39-50).  He has always struck me as one of the most amazing people in the Bible.  I am grateful for Dr. Wiersbe’s insights on Egypt at the time Joseph lived there:

The Egypt in which Joseph found himself was primarily a land of small villages inhabited by peasants who worked the land and raised grain and vegetables.  Thanks to their system of irrigation, the annual flooding of the Nile River supplied ample water for both the crops and the cattle.  There were some large cities such as On (Hieropolis), where Ra the sun god was honored, and Memphis, devoted to Apis, the sacred bull, but most of the population lived in the small villages. (p. 107)

I appreciate the biblical – and extra-biblical - knowledge that Dr. Wiersbe imparts. 

Joseph seemed to never be bitter and said one of my favorite passages in the Bible: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).  Here Dr. Wiersbe makes a comparison of Joseph’s life with another person in the Bible:

Joseph didn’t minimize their sins, but he said, “You intended to harm me” (Gen. 50:20 NIV).  He knew that there had been evil in their hearts, but he also knew that God had overruled their evil deeds to accomplish His good purposes.   This reminds us of what happened on the cross.  Peter said “Him [Jesus], being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up” (Acts 2:23-24 NKJV).  Out of the greatest sin ever committed ever committed to humankind, God brought the greatest blessing than even came to humankind. (p. 184) 

As is always the case, Dr. Wiersbe’s commentary on Genesis 25-50 is profound and biblically based.  Each chapter ends with Questions for Personal Reflection or Group Discussion.  One can never go wrong in studying a commentary by this gifted and godly man.  I would highly recommend it for personal or group study.  My life/small group through our church is currently studying Dr. Wiersbe’s  ‘Be Free: Exchange Legalism for True Spirituality,’ which studies the book of Galatians.  We are learning a lot.    

You can order this book here.

This book was published by David C. Cook and provided by the B&B Media Group, Inc. for review purposes. 

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