Book Review of The Hand of God: The Comfort of Having a Sovereign God, By Frederick S. Leahy

Published by Banner of Truth, 224 pages. £6 new from BofT. (Available second hand for as little as 50p!)

Professor Frederick Leahy (1922-2006) was a minister in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland. During his minstry he was the pastor of Cregagh Road RPC, Ballymacashon RPC, and Kilraughts RPC. He also taught Systematic Theology, Apologetics and Christian Ethics in the Reformed Theological College, Belfast, and served as Principal of the denomination’s theological college from 1993 to 2002.

He wrote several books and probably the best known is entitled The Cross He Bore: Meditations on the Sufferings of the Redeemer.

I chose this book for a book study with teenage girls associate with our church because in a time of pandemic fear, war in Europe, increasing anti-Christian hostility in government and popular culture, not to mention the personal concerns of family members with poor health, exams, friends who aren’t Christians etc., I thought it would be good for us to spend time studying the beautiful doctrine of the sovereignty of God.

If this book had merely been pastoral counsel about how the sovereignty of God can be a comfort to us, that would have been enough, but it is that and so much more.

Each chapter deals with a different aspect of how God’s sovereignty is demonstrated in our lives – creating, governing, providing, redeeming, keeping, guiding, chastening, blessing, enabling, and judging. I realised reading this book that even though I know God’s sovereignty applies to everything, I tend to focus on it more in some areas and not think about it so much in others. But in this book the ramifications of God being in control of everything are spelled out across a broad spectrum.

Each chapter doesn’t just say “God is in control, so don’t worry.” It goes through the Biblical and theological justification for how and why God is in control of creation, of our provision, of our redemption, etc. There are implications for the Christian that bring great comfort and encouragement. There are warnings for the unbeliever, and implications about thinking wrongly about God and His sovereignty. And there are implications for the world around us, nations, and culture and how these areas should be brought captive to Christ. Each chapter provides much food for thought and discussion and prayer, and I’m looking forward to studying it more with our Girls Group.

Beth Bogue serves as an administrative secretary to Airdrie RPCS (Airdrie, Scotland), as well as doing administrative work for the RPCS Presbytery and serving on the administrative team here at RP Global Alliance.

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