The online Bible teaching ministry of John Brand

One think you can’t accuse Scott Petty of is cowardice. In this series from Matthias Media he has taken on some brave attempts to tackle difficult and complex issues in a readable and engaging way, with teens and young people in mind. This time he has turned his attention to the biblical doctrine of predestination. Overall, he does a good job, managing to break down some profound theological concepts into bite-size pieces, though at times I sensed he confused election and predestination.

However, my problem with the book is not theological or doctrinal it’s the style. I thought my objections were due to my being well outside the target age group and so I asked a young friend who heads up a vibrant youth ministry to read it and give me his take and he was in complete agreement with me.

I found the tone of writing more and more irritating. Reading this book is a little bit like watching an embarassing elderly relative try to relate to a younger generation by talking and acting `cool’ and `trendy’. The tone is patronising and the use of illustrations and jargon at times puerile. I totally support trying to make profound theological truth accessible to young people – after all, I am a theological educator of young people – but you can do it without describing Berkhof, for example, as a “serious Christian thinker dude” and your own wife as “babelicious”. That’s just condescending and unnecessary.

Verdict: Good effort but not a book I would recommend to any young people I know.

Intervarsity Press (18 Jun. 2010) Review written in 2013

For the purpose of review, I received a complimentary copy of the book from the Publishers. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.