Discerning Reader Editorial Review
Reviewed 08/09/2010 by John Bird.
Recommended. A collection of thoughts about the person and work of our triune God, proving that the topic never grows old and tired.
I tend to look at titles such as Our Great God and Saviour and wonder what more could be said. Who can number the books that deal with the nature and character of God? And there are new ones published every year. Truly, "Of making many books [of this type] there is no end." It seems that after decades of ministry, Eric J. Alexander would write something more original. But these thoughts only reveal that ridiculous combination of ignorance and arrogance that so often plagues me. At the same time, Alexander's choice of subject matter, and the way he handles it, reveals a depth of maturity and humility that only decades of seeking and learning about God could produce.
There is no greater theme we could ever consider than 'The nature of the God of the Bible'...Even when we have contemplated the nature and character of God, we have only come to the edges of his ways. We are always going to be like little kindergarten children in the honors class of a university.
Alexander's book is a collection of studies that he originally prepared for the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology. These messages, Sinclair Ferguson informs us in the foreword, "come from a lifetime of faithful, consistent, biblical exposition expressed in a rare and remarkable gospel-empowered eloquence." The book is organized into three main parts: The Character of God, The Salvation of God, and The Church of God. In part one the author explores five of God's attributes. Alexander presses upon readers the greatness of God as He is revealed in the Scriptures, which "for our understanding of God, we are absolutely dependent upon."
The six chapters that comprise part two take readers through the order of salvation, from regeneration to glorification. Alexander shows, through his rich, sermonic expositions, that the whole of salvation, from beginning to end, is entirely the work of God: "Do we contribute anything? Oh yes, we do! The one thing that you and I contribute to our salvation is the sin which makes it necessary."
Portions of part three, "The Church of God," are particularly applied to ministers (and ministers will find them particularly encouraging), but the chapters are ultimately addressed to all believers. Alexander's view of the church and of ministry within the church is high: "The church," he writes, "is at the centre of God's purpose in the world...Fellowship with God is the foundation of our fellowship with one another, and true fellowship with one another leads always to a deepening of fellowship with the Father and the Son."
I've read many books of this type—some good, and some not so good. Many of them sound the same: the same illustrations, the same arguments, and even the same quotations. Not so with this book. It is a refreshingly original explanation of timeless, Scriptural truths. Though he occasionally quotes other theologians and authors, Alexander's book is based upon his own years of prayer and labor in the ministry. Though his book is full of great truth, reading it is not laborious. His style is simple and to the point. I didn't know what to expect when I received the book, but it's an understatement to say that I'm pleased. I would eagerly buy and read anything else written by the same author, and I would enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone who realizes that there is always more—much more-- to be learned about Our Great God and Saviour.
Editor's Note: You may also order this book from WTS Books at a significant discount.