Monday, 19 October 2015

Book review - Blanchard

Title of book: Why are you here? Searching for the meaning of life
Author: John Blanchard
Publisher: Evangelical Press
Publisher’s Address or address where book may be obtained: EP Books, Faverdale North, Darlington, DL3 0PH, England
Year of publication: 2014
Number of Pages: 281
Hdbk or pbk: pbk
Price: £9.99
ISBN: 978-1783970681

This book is another gem by an prolific author and evangelist. Obviously very Biblical, it may also be described as philosophical in nature. However, it is engaging philosophy, written in popular style. It could never be described as “heavy going” and, where there are no time restraints, the reader will just simply keep turning the pages.

John Blanchard follows a well devised plan. He charts how man cannot but ask about the purpose of his own existence.  He then documents some of the evolutionists’ and atheists’ response before introducing the gospel and concluding with an evangelistic appeal to the reader to repent and believe the gospel if they have not already done so. He is very clear on the gospel, faithfully expounding the nature as well as the necessity of repentance. 

He does not berate the evolutionists, but simply lets them speak for themselves. Some of these quotes range from Darwin’s “Imagination must fill up the very wide blanks” (p.70) to Atkins’ insult that we all are but “a bit of slime on a planet” (p. 131) through to Dawkins’ classic admissions that we are “yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips”(p.75) and (when challenged about the need of evidence for evolution) “We don’t need evidence, we know it to be true.” (p.80)

Many of Mr Blanchard’s quotes are neutral while others are sympathetic to the Bible cause. One of his own observations, which I have noted on a Sticky Note in the fly cover is, “He [Jesus Christ] did not come into the world as a diplomat, a politician, an economist, a psychologist or a scientist, but as a Saviour.” (p.207) Some of his illustrations from real life have occurred only in the last few months, so they will still be fresh (at least for a while) in the minds of the reader.

The book is introduced by Professor Sinclair and endorsed in the blurb by professing Christian, Dan Walker who is also a leading BBC sports presenter. One advantage in Mr Walker’s endorsement might well be the evangelistic thought that it will make the book appeal a little more to a secular reader. The book is well produced to Evangelical Press’s usual high standard with clear print. The Bible text used throughout is the ESV.

End of Book Review 
(Review this book by the British Church Newspaper) 


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