Reviewer Lois C. Henderson: Lois is a freelance academic editor and back-of-book indexer, who spends most of her free time compiling word search puzzles for tourism and educative purposes. Her puzzles are available HERE and HERE Her Twitter account (@LoisCHenderson) mainly focusses on the toponymy of British place names. Please feel welcome to contact her with any feedback at LoisCourtenayHenderson@gmail.com.
Author: Rev. Ralph Jarvis
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
The deep-felt sincerity with which the Rev. Ralph Jarvis approaches his subject matter, namely the dynamics of Godliness and Christianity, in this work strikes the key note for this apologist’s text, which he neatly divides between his two primary subjects. As he notes in his Preface to the book, his target audience primarily consists of seekers after Godliness and the path to Christianity, Missionaries, whether based at home or abroad, and the general public, including Christians, whom he sees as reading the guide “for personal edification and growth in the Word”. His approach tends to be rather old world, with constant admonishments to his “beloved” audience. If you are already a believer in the Christian Gospel, in all its significance, being addressed in such terms should encourage you to feel a sense of close familiarity to the author of this work.
Much of the first half of Dynamics of Godliness and Christianity is taken up by a discussion of the life of David, as the anointed King of Israel, including a comparison of the great second king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah, who reigned from c. 1010–970 BCE, to Alexander the Great, who reigned over the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. Jarvis indicates not only the strong points of these great heroes of the Ancient World, but also indicates their weaknesses and failings. Relying greatly on passages that he has taken verbatim from either the King James Version, or the New King James Version, with an explanation that he was unsure that all readers of his book would otherwise have access to the Bible while reading it. For his discussion of Alexander the Great, Jarvis relies heavily on Jacob Abbott’s Alexander the Great. As he regarded this work as out of print, he felt justified in quoting several paragraphs from the rather dated biography. However, Abbott’s text is readily accessible online if one searches for it in the major online bookstores.
As appropriate for an apologist text, the second half of Dynamics of Godliness and Christianity is comprised of a discussion of the nature of Jesus Christ, and His relevance to the world today, in terms of the suffering that He endured so that He could set the sinner free. Jarvis ends this part of the book on a joyous and uplifting note, with a chapter on how the birth of Jesus “revolutionised the World by Manifold Phenomena.” Jarvis has done his best to make the message that he wishes to convey meaningful to those who are beset by worldly troubles in the present day. Accordingly, he has included a chapter on how to overcome the stresses suffered by chief executives, and he provides helpful guidance for decision makers.
In all, the Dynamics of Godliness and Christianity is well signposted, as befits a book of this nature. For the believer, the text should be instructive and inspiring, though, for the unenlightened, it might sound rather strange at times.