The Hand of God – The Comfort of Having a Sovereign God by Fredrick S. Leahy (Banner of Truth)
If you’re looking for a good book to give to a friend that struggles with the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, then this is what you’ve been looking for. Instead of presenting his subject as a doctrinal proposition in a raw, abstract way, Fred Leahy offers his reader a warm commendation of God as gracious Sovereign, gently and persuasively arguing from Scripture and Christian experience: “Too often the sovereignty of God has been seen as a harsh and cold doctrine; yet that is not how God’s reign is portrayed in Scripture. The Bible depicts God’s sovereignty in a manner designed to strengthen our spirits and to reassure us in this evil and broken world: in a word, to comfort” (p.197).
In ten chapters, Leahy commends not merely the doctrine of the sovereignty of God, but the Sovereign God Himself. In these pages, we thus encounter Him not in the faceless decrees of a distant Potentate, but in the dealings of a personal Father, whose sovereign hand is powerfully seen and experienced in the works of creation and providence, with a particular focus on the Christian life – in redemption, preservation, guidance, chastening, blessing, enabling and judgment. Each chapter is brief and eminently suitable for daily devotional reading.
Leahy writes in a timeless, “Puritan-esque” style: immensely readable, warm, and thorough. He passionately addresses up-to-date threats to the doctrine of God’s sovereignty (for example, there are helpful appendices addressing the errors of Evolution and Open Theism), and makes pointed application of his material to the life of the believer.
After almost 40 years as a pastor in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland and a seminary professor and principal for almost as long, Leahy communicates with the heart of a pastor and head of a theologian, not merely winning points persuasively, but winning his reader too.
Prof. Leahy was quietly taken by the hand of his God the week he completed this, his last book. This little volume is a marvellous final legacy to the Church, and is warmly commended to all.
Rev David Whitla
A longer, more technical review is available here.