Vol. 2 - No. 3
What The Bible Says About Faith
by Byron Gage
Written by the late C. C. Crawford, What The Bible Says About Faith, College Press Publishing Company, Joplin, Missouri, 1982, is another in this popular series, dealing with various subjects. It is well written and easily read. It is thorough and appears to set forth the truth as it should. It is replete with Biblical examples and statements of various men of faith from ages gone by. This is a book that would lend itself well to the classroom, being divided into 26 chapters. It consists of 380 pages and contains an excellent Topical Index as well as a Scripture Index at the end of the book.
The book begins with a discussion of the Excellence of Faith which describes what faith does. The author discusses the superiority of faith, faith as basic to justification, and faith as motivation to service and worship. Next the author discusses the Nature of Faith in which faith is defined and discussed in the context of the question, "What is faith?" The fact that faith always comes from revelation if it is to be an acceptable faith is covered in The Source of Faith, chapter three. The next few chapters discuss how believers are made, the attributes of, and the accomplishments of faith.
The next major section of the book deals with Biblical exemplars of faith. Hebrews 11 is the primary text with references to historical texts being used to fully discuss the great men and women of faith in faith's honor roll. The author clarifies that "faith wrought with works "before it was acceptable faith, and carefully distinguishes between mere "mental assent" and faith that saves.
Various aspects of the subject of faith are dealt with in fine fashion. Especially needed today are men who set forth the truth on basic Bible subjects, for confusion reigns among brethren and sectarians alike. The great difficulty I see as I read these and other comparable works is the fact that knowledge is not lacking but often application is. Under the heading What The Church Needs Today, Mr. Crawford pleads for a return to (or the development of) a faith that excels in a world of doubts and fears. The answer to anxiety (worry) about the material aspects of our lives lies in the Sermon on the Mount, if we would but seek it out. Christians, it seems to me, are making the mistake of removing the Word of God from the practical, concrete realm and into the realm of mysticism and experimental emotionalism. We no longer find the faith a definable body of information revealed by God to be believed by man, but rather a personal, relative, and feeling-oriented system with no don'ts, few do's, and little daily application.
This book is a good one and a welcome addition to my personal library. But I look for the day when men will lay down their banners of division, their false standards of "unity," and come simply and humbly to the Book of God seeking the "faith once for all delivered." May God hasten the day when faith means more in the lives of Christians than just something that precedes baptism. May we understand what true believers are, not only in word, but also in deed. May we learn the lessons of James 2, and come to a realization that the faith of the Bible is not one that is bragged about but one that is lived, breathed, and practiced.
One has somewhere said, and it is often repeated, that "there are too many men of science and too few men of God." True words indeed. And, we might add, there are too many "church members" and too few men of faith; men who will stand for truth in the absolute when compromise is the order of the day; men who will give a "thus saith the Lord" for all that is said or done; men who will tell others the truth and tell it plainly; men who, as a matter of faith, will serve instead of desiring to be served.