Living By the Truth, the Word of God

Let's be honest: Too many Christian books are nothing but fluff or teach a viewpoint that is borderline contradictory of what the Bible actually teaches. Christian publishing appears, to this reviewer at least, to be focused too much on marketing and profits, and not nearly enough on solid teaching for building up the church.

Into this mess, however, comes a breath of fresh air-"Living By the Truth" by Lillian C. Larry. Larry cuts through the clutter of so many Christian books and gives us straight talk, teaching right out of the Bible into our lives.

Over forty-two chapters, Larry touches on the necessity of studying the Bible to what to do when God is silent, from the truth about homosexuality to the importance of Bible school, and many serious topics in between. She even includes the text of scripture for such foundational books as 1 Thessalonians, 1 John, and Revelation.

Larry hits hard, and this book may not be for those accustomed to reading Christianity-lite. But never is she harsh or rude; she simply speaks what the Bible speaks, sharing her struggles and showing us how to overcome challenges and obstacles in our lives, all the while remaining faithful to God.

For example, in "Church Membership," Larry points out the somewhat ridiculous notion of requiring "membership" in a church context. She asks, rightly so, "Why can't I sit amongst the congregation as a sister of the body of Christ? Why do I have to be a member in order to fellowship?" In contrast to this view, she discusses Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 3:17-"?where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (NRSV). Thus, she argues, if we have Jesus with us, it doesn't matter whether we "place membership" or not; what matters is our truly fellowshipping together in the Spirit of Jesus.

Another chapter, "Bible School, Is It Really Necessary," is important also. Larry ponders the attitude that finds Bible study "boring," and laments the sad state of some seminaries, where one can take a class on the Bible and leave wondering if the teacher is even a believer him- or herself. Ideally, we should sit around the Word of God and let God address us. Too many Christians rely on teaching they pay money for (i.e., in a college degree) or on the teaching from their human pastors (i.e., Bishop X or Minister Y) when they should rely more on God himself.

In short, this book was very insightful and helpful, and very true to the Word of God. Read it and learn, and let the words lead you deeper into your relationship with God.

(Contact to purchase this book.)

Jeremy M. Hoover is a book reviewer and Christian minister. You may request a review by emailing him at [email protected]. He also sells a set of 11 ebooks on prayer, which you can find here.

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