BOOK REVIEWS · Calvinism · Gospel

HIDDEN IN THE GOSPEL – William Farley (2014)

new farleyIt’s short and sweet.  It is an easy read.  It is also one of the best books you will read this year.  William Farley’s Hidden in the Gospel: Truths You Forget to Tell Yourself Every Day is a treasure trove filled with timeless principles that will enrich your Christian life.

Farley builds upon the dictum popularized by Jerry Bridges: “Preach the gospel to yourself.”  The author takes readers on a journey they should never forget.

The gospel of course is spelled out in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.  Paul says,

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures …

William Farley presents the gospel in a series of eight movements which include:

  1. Election
  2. Incarnation
  3. Active Obedience
  4. Penal Substitutionary Atonement
  5. Resurrection
  6. Ascension
  7. Return and Final Judgment
  8. New Creation and Consummation

Each of these eight ingredients which make up the gospel are presented with biblical support and appropriate illustrations.  Farley is a master teacher who not only understands the redemptive plot line; he communicates the gospel with precision and skill.

After Pastor Farley unpacks each doctrinal reality, he helps readers preach the given gospel truth to themselves.  He presents the notion of preaching the gospel to oneself as an essential aspect of the Christian life:

“It is key to robust spiritual experience.  We can either listen to ourselves – our fears, doubts, insecurities, hurts, and failures – or we can preach to ourselves.”

Hidden in the Gospel is another home run by William Farley.  This author fails to disappoint.  He is locked and loaded onto the gospel message.  As a reader, you will no doubt walk away from reading his book a transformed person.

5 stars


BOOK REVIEWS · Calvinism · Discipleship · Theology

GOSPEL-POWERED HUMILITY – William P. Farley (2011)

Gospel-Powered Humility by William Farley is a supercharged powder-keg for radical, humilityGod-centered Christian living.  There is much to commend in this little treasure.  A simple review will not do it justice.

Part one overviews the problem which faces every human being.  That problem is identified as a soul-numbing sin – the sin of pride.  Of course, the remedy for pride is humility which is defined upfront by the author: “Humility is the ability to see spiritual reality, to see things as they really are.  It is the capacity to see myself in God’s light, in the context of his holiness and my sinfulness.  In other words, it is the ability to see self, and this world, through God’s eyes.”

Farley underscores a major paradox that runs through the book: “The proud man think he is humble, but the humble man thinks he is proud.  The humble man sees his arrogance.  He sees it clearly, and as a result he aggressively pursues a life of humility, but he doesn’t think of himself as humble.  The proud man is completely unaware of his pride.  Of all men he is most convinced that he is humble.”  The author exposes and addresses this paradox throughout the remainder of his work.

Part two applies the gospel to the humble  man.  The author shows how people are humbled by God’s wrath, the final judgment, the sinfulness of sin, gospel-centered faith and preaching.  This section hits readers between the eyes and does a terrific job of revealing the biblical categories for life change.

Finally, part three addresses the fear of man and humility in leadership.  The practical application in this section is certainly worth the price of the book.

Gospel-Powered Humility is one of those books that never made it to the best sellers list.  William Farley writes with strong biblical conviction which is laced with pastoral wisdom and sensitivity.  If readers long for a feel-good book that panders to sin and strokes the ego, look elsewhere.  But if readers are looking for truth which transforms, look no further than Gospel-Powered Humility.

5 stars