Book Review: The Way To God

The Way To God, by Dwight L. Moody

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Aneko Press.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

In reading a book like this there is a lot to appreciate and also a lot to nitpick and critique, and I am the sort of person who feels like doing both.  Being no stranger to the writings of Dwight L. Moody [1], I feel that this is the sort of book that would have been greatly improved had the author had a bit more grounding in biblical theology.  This book spends a great deal of time and effort dealing with repentance and initial justification, but spends comparatively little time talking about what victory for a Christian looks like.  One will search this book in vain for discussions of the way that the law is written in the hearts of believers, to say nothing of the contents of biblical law apart from the fairly mundane sort of understanding of the law that is common even in heathen cultures which speak out against theft and foul language and the like.  What one finds instead is a great deal of lingering on about the way that we make our initial steps toward the Kingdom of God.

In terms of the contents of this book there is a great deal both to appreciate and to wish for.  Overall, this book itself is only about 160 or so pages, making it a relatively quick read where one could read it without suffering a great deal.  These 16 or so pages are divided into nine chapters which talk about the depths of God’s love, the gateway into His kingdom, the two groups of people, namely the saved and the unsaved (in the author’s perspective), words of counsel, Jesus Christ as our divine savior, repentance and restitution, the assurance of salvation, Christ being all, and backsliding.  These chapters occasionally hit on profound points and often capture a great deal of interest due to the historical context in which Moody wrote, but one often wishes there was more detail and a deeper understanding of biblical law.  All too often this book feels a bit on the shallow side, as if the author thought that repentance was a less well understood idea than it is, and as if the author himself had the ability to deal with the subject matter he has chosen for his own.

This is the sort of book that demonstrates the author is trying to encourage altar calls of repentance among his readers but does not really know what a victorious life lived in obedience to God’s ways looks like.  The author knows that some sort of victory is needed by Christians but does not really understand what that victory is like.  Of course, the author himself finds himself drawn to eternal security and to the way that many believers do not feel that sense of security, failing to grasp the fact that while believers cannot fall from God’s hands that they can turn aside as all too many people do.  One wishes that the author understood God’s ways better as well as the Kingdom of God, rather than spouting off about matters that he did not understand, but at times that is wishing for too much.  The author had a great deal for trying to point people to God but sometimes, and this book is an example of it, the author’s lack of firm biblical knowledge when it came to doctrine really did not pay off and led the author astray into many errors that are all too common in contemporary Christianity, where ragamuffins seek eternal security in vain because they lack an understanding of how they are to live with God’s laws written in their hearts and minds as they acquire the nature and character of God through a lifetime of loving obedience to Him.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Christianity, History and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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