Sid Eavis revisits many of the issues confronting Christians as they seek to experience a reality of the Kingdom - The Kingdom is within you Luk 17:21
Why is this book different? Because it’s about the basic elements of Christianity explained in layman’s terms, and not from an ordained minister’s exposition of what he or she thinks the Bible means. It has been said, “If the Bible means what it says, why doesn’t it say what it means?” This is the difficulty for clergymen of all denominations because their belief reflects man’s theology, which can only be explained to others similarly trained. When I address groups at church and other ministry engagements the comments are often that it has never been explained like this before. A new understanding permeates through the group. I believe this comes from not following the conventional theological college approach to preaching by trying to explain what the Bible means. I refer to this as “chapter and verse preaching”. These things come from personal experience not from armchair thinking. Here are some insights into couple of chapters.
The Kingdom—this is the most important chapter because it underpins not only the understanding of all other chapters, but brings into reality what God created. Instead of thinking of the Kingdom as being above the clouds somewhere in a spiritual sense, or being the Garden of Eden in a physical sense, consider it more of a fulfilment of relationships. The Kingdom is God’s perfect provision, in God’s perfect place, under God’s perfect rule. Now it can be anywhere and everywhere, and it is!
The Holy Trinity—how do we think of God? A white haired, bearded gentleman sitting on a throne of judgement above the clouds somewhere—sort of Father Christmas image perhaps. The relationship between these divine beings and humanity is in need of some clarity. The characteristic of each member as well as their unity is explained in non-scriptural language.
Subjects like Baptism, Holy Communion and some of the differences between denominations are explained without drawing criticism. The Lord’s Prayer (as perhaps you have never heard it before). Sin – cause and effect and many others.
Those from different denominations who have read this book have commented that it has clarified many misunderstandings they had held all their lives about the Bible.
Sid Eavis Author.
I believe that one of the biggest challenges for a Christian today is not to be lazy. It is so easy to be a lazy Christian. It is so easy to go to church, sit back and not to reflect; to receive the sacraments and not to reflect; to read the Bible and not to reflect, to pray the same prayers and not to reflect and yet God-given challenges and opportunities come as a result of reflection. We must not be sluggards (see Pr 6:9).
Someone once said that in life there are only two certainties—death and taxes, but in our spiritual lives the certainties should be growth, understanding and spiritual development. If we are not growing by grace closer to our Lord day by day, then we are being lazy Christians. In (1Co 13:11) Paul tells us that once he thought like a child but that he had given up childish things. We, too, although we are all God’s children should not be content with our childish understanding of our faith, but grow to maturity through the challenges faith presents.
As Christians living with all the pressures and temptations of our secular world, we cannot afford to be lazy. We must continually grow in our faith. Paul tells the Colossians that they should be “growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might” so that they “may have great endurance and patience” (Col 4:9–12). Sid Eavis in this book has done just that—revisiting and challenging his faith and sharing his findings with us. This is not just the result of armchair thinking, because what pulsates throughout this book is an understanding about our faith that has been wrought and refined through prayer, sacrament and disciplined biblical study. Sid, in challenging himself and his faith, not only enlightens us but challenges us as well, so that our own faith may be strengthened.
We could be solid in our faith and yet still be lazy Christians. It is incumbent on us to live our faith and bring others to faith and to our Lord. In this work, Sid Eavis moves us gently forward, providing pragmatic suggestions as to how our faith may be made manifest to the world, thus fulfilling the great commandment which concludes Matthew’s Gospel (Mt 28:19–20). Sid fulfils, in a very enlightening and down-to-earth way, one of the major themes of St. James’s epistle (Ja 2:22) by combining the concepts of faith and works whilst recognising St. Paul’s tenet (Ro 3:28) that we are justified by faith alone.
In Christ I commend this book to you,
Fr Terence Henry Dicks
Maroubra, Australia. August 2008