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ISBN/ASIN : 0340864273
Manufacturer : Hodder & Stoughton Religious|
Release data : 20 April, 2006
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When I first heard David Pawson teach, I was immediately drawn to him and have found him a compelling speaker ever since.
Here is a man who teaches the Bible without excuses. We live in an age when leaders use the Bible as a drunkard uses a lamp post - for support - but not this man! He teaches male leadership because the Bible does. He rejects remarriage after divorce because the Bible does. He rejects the popular doctrine "once saved - always saved" because the Bible does. As a result he is both loved and loathed by his peers.
David Pawson may be the best Bible teacher of our generation - certainly the best I know. Well known for the clarity, incisiveness and authority of his preaching and his refusal to duck difficult issues, he seems to be admired and reviled in equal measure. Someone described him as "The Enoch Powell of the Evangelical world". But while Powell's career famously ended in political failure, Pawson's ministry has expanded exponentially from being a little-known Methodist circuit preacher, then a military chaplain to a respected Baptist Pastor to a well known international speaker whose teaching materials are increasingly in demand worldwide.
Fans of David Pawson will need no recommendation for this book - long awaited by many.
In his writing style, David Pawson remains true to his calling, as a Bible teacher. He uses his life story as a teaching tool. Instruction and explanation ooze out of every page of the book.
He puts some of his success as a preacher down to his Northern bluntness. I believe there is much more to it than this, however. Living up to scriptural standards is hard, and Pawson is prepared to do the hard thing. It is easy for Christian leaders to opt for the "easy option". When seeking numerous converts, most leaders demand a simple response of faith, rather than ensuring full repentance and baptism has taken place. When faced with the emotional pressure of peoples' numerous needs and wants, it is easy to opt for the easy answers. Pawson's approach is to work out what his convictions are first, then to take these convictions into every situation he faces. As a result, he has been rejected and misunderstood by many in the church.
An interesting section for me was the one at the end about his wife and family. His wife, Enid, is the real unsung heroine of his life story. She has stood by him and surely had to face the sting of people opposing or distancing themselves from her husband because of his firmly stated views. He puts the success of his marriage down to the fact that they are both in love with the same man - himself!!
In his wider family life, which he rarely discusses in his teaching, he has experienced both joy and sorrow. His childhood and early adulthood was eventful and mostly very happy. Again, some of the sorrow has been because of his convictions, which he always puts before the need to please people.
The book shows him to be a very human, ordinary, likeable chap and it is full of amusing - sometimes laugh-out-loud - anecdotes, particularly from his childhood, early adulthood and his time as a military chaplain.
The only part of the book that made me feel slightly uncomfortable was the section on his current church life. He attends his local Anglican church and his relationship between himself and his home church is one of mutual awkwardness. I feel sorry for both parties. He sums up the situation well:
"My study of scripture over many years has led me to a combination of deeply held convictions which does not fit into any known school or tradition... in a word, I am a very unorthodox evangelical, in my eyes and other people's."