Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Weekly Recommendation: "The Greatest of These is Love"

For the past several weeks, we have been studying 1 Corinthians 13 and the importance of practice real, biblical agape love. One of the books I have been reading is by Cale K. Burgess called, "The Greatest of These is Love." Burgess offers a simple and straightforward survey of what the Bible has to say on this important subject.

Most of the book covers 1 Corinthians 13, but the author does not limit their survey to this chapter alone. The book is rather simple and not very deep. Throughout the book, the author provides countless illustrations, poems, hymns, and quotes from various persons to drive their point home.

My biggest complaint regards the illustrations and they are two-fold. First, the number of illustrations is quit overwhelming. Burgess quotes others more than actually writes themselves. Page after page is covered with illustrations, quotes, stories, and other things. At times I found myself saying, "OK, I get it. Now tell what to do." Although the book contains many great insights into the Biblical teaching on love, it could be much shorter without all of the extra information and citations.

Secondly, Burgess quotes various persons and sources that would best be left out. For example, at one point the author quotes Mohammad, the founder of Islam. Grant it, there is some truth to be gained in most things as the result of common grace, but in a book that expounds Scripture, it is best to leave such things out.

Overall, however, I found this book to be helpful and an easy read. It is simple and straightforward and for the most part a good summary of the Biblical teaching on love. However, good luck finding it anywhere as it was written over 50 years ago.

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