Thinking Out Loud

May 23, 2013

Book Review: These are the Days of Elijah

Much as I hate to admit it, while I’ve been aware of him for many years, this week was the first time I finally got around to reading one of the more than fifty books by R. T. Kendall. The American born author and pastor is best known for being the pastor of London’s Westminster Chapel where he succeeded the likes of Glyn Owen, G. Campbell Morgan and Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

R. T. Kendall - These are the Days of ElijahThe book I asked to review is These Are The Days of Elijah: How God Uses Ordinary People to Do Extraordinary Things (2013, Chosen Books) which was compiled from a series of Sunday evening sermons given at Westminster in 2000-2001; and if those Sunday night sermons were this good, I can only imagine what his preaching was like on Sunday mornings.

The book is an exposition of the story of the prophet Elijah. That said, you would expect the book to rest firmly in a Old Testament setting, but it’s as though Dr. Kendall can’t complete a paragraph without reference to a New Testament character or narrative. There is a great satisfaction in reading something where the Old and New Testaments are so clearly and strongly linked; where the character of God is seen as consistent throughout the two very different eras of our spiritual history.

But in addition to making the connection across the Biblical timeline, Days of Elijah is filled with application to our 21st century situation. Elijah was a man like us; he had his weaknesses, his rants, his frustrations. Several times the book quotes the phrase, “The best of men are men at best.” The prophet who led the showdown on Mount Carmel had his days of despair. A few times, Kendall links the Elijah story to periods in his own ministry where he felt rejection and failure; his journey as a pastor in two countries making this good reading for those who find themselves in that vocation today.

This is a book with what I call ‘rich text.’ I certainly see why Dr. Kendall has the following of readers that he does. I’m thinking this will be the first of several books by him to fill my bookshelf.

Top Ten Books by R. T. Kendall according to Send the Light Distribution:

  1. Total Forgiveness
  2. Totally Forgiving God
  3. God Meant it for Good
  4. Word, Spirit, Power
  5. Jealousy: The Sin No One Talks About
  6. These are the Days of Elijah
  7. The Power of Humility
  8. How to Forgive Ourselves Totally
  9. Why Jesus Died
  10. The Sermon on the Mount

Top Ten Books by R. T. Kendall according to Spring Arbor Distributors:

  1. Total Forgiveness
  2. These are the Days of Elijah
  3. How to Forgive Ourselves Totally
  4. Totally Forgiving God
  5. Word, Spirit, Power
  6. Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit
  7. The Power of Humility
  8. The Sermon on the Mount
  9. The Anointing: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  10. Did You Think to Pray?

A copy of These are the Days of Elijah was provided to Thinking Out Loud by Graf-Martin, a literary marketing and promotion agency based in Elmira, Ontario, Canada.

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