No Other Doctrine – The Gospel and the Modern World - John F. Parkinson
Paperback, 198 pp,
Published John Ritchie Ltd., 40 Beansburn, Kilmarnock, KA3 1RH, Scotland.
This book has arisen from its author’s firm conviction that the message of the gospel is as relevant and as necessary for the people of our day as it was for those of the first century. It has been written with the express purpose of helping, at an introductory level, college and university students who will almost certainly come up against the influences of postmodernism in the course of their studies and to make an older generation aware of current thinking. It will also be suitable as a means of explaining the relevance of the gospel to the non-Christian.
In the first three chapters John Parkinson takes his reader carefully through the content of the gospel, and examines the reaction both of Jews and of Gentiles of the first century. He stresses the similarities between the polytheism, the philosophies, and the occult practices of Paul’s day, and the postmodernism and New Age mysticism of today. As the author takes us on from the modernism that sprang from the eighteenth century Enlightenment through to the relativism of our own day, he demonstrates the universal and enduring relevance of the gospel to fallen man. In so doing he is able not only to inform, but also to encourage believers to witness, confident in the knowledge that only the gospel can meet the deepest needs of the men and women of today.
The new edition of this valuable work, now offered with an appendix on postmodernism, is not for those believers who may wish to bury their heads in the sand. The author reminds us that, ‘it is also vital to understand that our young people are being educated in the language, premises, and terminology of postmodern philosophy. Ought we not, as parents, to be interested in what our families may be imbibing at school and university?’ This book will amply reward careful reading and reflection on its contents. Chapter 5, ‘The Question of Origins’, is pivotal. The Glossary of Terms is very helpful, and the Bibliography will encourage further study. This is a very valuable resource.
[Our thanks to Ed Hotchin, Hucknall, Nottingham, England, for this review]