True Love - Understanding the real meaning of Christian love

Ed Hotchin, Hucknall, Nottingham, England

Category: Book Review

Precious Seed

James M. Renihan

Paperback, 144pp.,
Published by Evangelical Press, Faverdale North, Darlington, DL3 0PH, UK.
Price: £8.99.
ISBN 978-0-852347-13-3.

This book will speak to the conscience. James Renihan has not set out to expound 1 Corinthians 13, but rather to describe the essential meaning of its central message, and to challenge his readers to live out that meaning in the world of today. He is well aware that it is no easy task to write acceptably on the subject of love, and has approached his task with commendable humility: ‘We recognise how far short of the standard we come . . . As an author, I have to struggle with my failure to achieve the touchstone of which I write’. His readers will surely echo the same sentiments. 

The author is professor of Historical Theology at a Reformed Baptist Seminary, and is an elder in a Baptist church; he has had extensive experience in a pastoral capacity. In the preface he is quite explicit in stating that he has deliberately avoided important questions which an exposition of this chapter might have to address, so that he can concentrate on his main theme, which is to encourage his readers to understand the true meaning of Christian love, and to face up honestly to the responsibility which such understanding brings with it. The first three chapters give the necessary context for this work. In these he emphasizes that love is law – a command, which can only be discharged in the energy of the Holy Spirit. He stresses the centrality of love, and exposes the way its real meaning is often obscured by sentimentality and self-obsession. In chapters 4-12 he leads his readers through the fifteen verbs which Paul uses to define love, emphasizing that all these words have to do with our deeds. He gets behind the familiar words, with which we are all too often so comfortable that they rarely touch the conscience. His style is simple yet direct and searching, and refreshingly honest. Readers who are prepared to approach this book in the same spirit and give time to meditate on its contents will benefit from it. 

[Our thanks to Ed Hotchin, Hucknall, England, for this review]


There are 28 articles in
ISSUE (2012, Volume 67 Issue 1)


Angolan Literature Fund

Bible Bytes - Christian Biographies on the Web

Bits & Bobs - Why Don’t Animals Need a Barber?

The Challenges and Blessings of Foster Care

Christ our Life

Church Gatherings - Part 1

Editorial - ‘For if ye do these things ye shall never fall’

Exemplary Spiritual Leadership J. Wragg

The First Epistle of John - Part 2

God’s Care for the Widow Austin Walker

History Today - James Montgomery Paul S. Taylor

Israel in the interval between the Rapture and the Tribulation

The King James Version and Principles of Translation - Part 2

Personalities in the Pastoral Epistles (7) - Those who were a delight to Paul (continued)

Philippians: The Joy and Suffering of the Furtherance of the Gospel - Part Nine

Question TIme - Should there be a minimum age set for those requesting baptism?


The Reward Side of Christianity

Riverside Gospel Hall, Bandon, Co.Cork, N.Ireland

The School of Pain

The Servants of God

The Sovereignty of God - Introduction - Part 1

Teaching and Guiding a Rising Generation - Part 1: THE SPIRITUAL BALANCE

True Love - Understanding the real meaning of Christian love

Views from the News

A Word for Today: Firstfruits (Heb. Bikkûr)

You Shall Go Out With Joy Robert Muir

This article is not part of a series

There are 3 articles by this author

Life’s Greatest Quest - to become more like Christ Clark Logan

True Love - Understanding the real meaning of Christian love

God’s Care for the Widow Austin Walker