Book Review: 5 Things Christians Must Do

5 Things Christians Must Do:  A Refreshing Yet Challenging Look At Biblical Christian Living, by F.B. Meyer

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

I must admit that before reading this book I did not know who the author was and had never read any of the 40 books he wrote during the course of a long life spent as a minister in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  He was focused on the holiness of believers, and it shows in this book.  Although this book is a relatively obscure one, it is certainly a classic in the tradition of the publisher’s reprints [1].  And in reading this book it is definitely a worthwhile (and short) volume, even if it is not a book I would consider perfect.  It makes for a very thoughtful and thought-provoking Pentecost book in particular, which would likely be the ideal time of year to read this book and ponder on what it is saying.  Even so, it is not as if there is a bad time to read a book like this one dealing with matters of Christian faith and practice.

At just over 100 pages, this book is like many in its series in being somewhat short, which seems to have been more frequent in the time the book was written than today.  The book consists of a foreword, none chapters, and then a short biography of the author, which did a good job in fleshing out his life and career, which I thought useful in understanding and appreciating this work.  The author begins with a discussion of five things Christians “must” do in the first five chapters, saying that Christians must experience the “new birth” (1), must sacrifice (2), must appreciate the decreasing of the self (3), must serve (4), and must worship and experience the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (5).  After that the author spends more time talking about the Holy Spirit (6), telling the reader to reckon on the faithfulness of God (7), fellowshipping with Christ in service (8), and increasing in our knowledge of our savior (9).  There is a great deal to celebrate here and the author includes a few pictures to make his work easier to understand that give a visual understanding to the reader of the points the author is seeking to make in the book.

Although this is a short book, the author’s approach to making his point is one that involves piling up a bunch of comparisons (some of them more valid than others) and short stories, often about other well-known ministers of his time like Spurgeon, Moody, and so on, in order to argue for some point.  At times the author makes statements that do not appear to hit the mark, and I found his argument about human beings being tripartite beings to be somewhat cringeworthy, although it is a common argument.  That said, although some of the remarks made by the author do not appear to make the point the author intends, there is still a lot here to appreciate, and overall this is a book I would recommend to readers who want to read more about the author’s thoughts on the Holy Spirit and its workings, especially when it comes to pointing out some of the theatrical aspects of Pentecostal practice that can be imitated by others for their own glory and that do not have a place in sound and humble worship practices.  There is a lot that one can gain from reading a book like this, even if the author’s approach to writing is not necessarily the same approach I would have.

[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.
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