Reviewer: Bayo Ogunmupe
Enduring Truths (Florence and Lambard Ltd., Lagos; 2015) is Maurice Mobolaji Elliot’s attempt at propagating the gospel of Jesus the Christ. This book is a compilation of exhortations by Bolaji Elliott, an accredited preacher with a passion for espousing the gospel of Jesus.
Among Methodists of which Bolaji is a member, lay preachers constitute a significant part of their heritage and espouse the word as diligently as ordained ministers. Also they bring with them rich experiences garnered from diverse backgrounds. They speak from wider perspectives.
These exhortations are rich in content and precise in illustrations. These views are relevant and applicable all the year round. He gives us the Christian yearly calendar: advent, Christmas, epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost or ordinary Sundays, with the awareness that our spiritual needs are constant throughout life. These preachments tackle the challenges to the Christian faith such as the spiritual aspiration for prosperity by worshippers and the fears of those still searching for an anchor to hold storms in their lives. Gladly, Elliott holds firmly to the undiluted, conservative gospel of Christ.
He strikes a balance between spiritualism and the modern day preoccupation with prosperity evangelism. His essay – namely: Shopping for miracles – highlights the dilemma of today’s Christian in an unsecure world. Enduring Truths sets out to calm the fears of the faithful about the uncertain future while at the same time urging them to hold on tight to their faith.
In seeking God’s face, the author urges prayers for everything. But we must refrain from cajoling God into serving our selfish purposes, like Elijah asked Jehovah to take his life in order to evade Jezebel’s persecution (Kings 19:4). We should pray for everybody including our enemies and detractors. When our prayers are not answered, we must remain steadfast in our prayers. We have God’s promise that whatever we asked for in the right spirit will be granted to us. “Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you”.
Elliott’s 94th essay on wisdom calls for our attention. “It is Jehovah who gives wisdom; from Him come knowledge and understanding”. The quotation assures that much knowledge has been available to mankind, so much so that knowledge doubles every two years. Which is why learning has become a life-long affair. With the developments in technology, we are able to increase our knowledge without hassles.
Also, there are many inspirational and motivational books, CDs and DVDs available on the net. However, these collections are but the thoughts, wisdom of men like us. Where believers should be seeking direction is the Bible. In the wisdom literature of the scriptures, we have the very breathings of the spirit of God. There are no better sources of rules and wisdom concerning every aspect of life. The psalmist declares: “Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path”.
Knowledge of the scriptures is a useful tool in combating the temptations that we come across in our pilgrim journey here on earth. Even Jesus the Christ used the wisdom of the scriptures to ward off Satan and his antagonists. When the Pharisees accused Him of breaking the Sabbath, He referred them to what David did in the House of God when he was hungry. The bible is believers’ manual of wisdom and moral compass. It is the only source we can trust to lead us safely into the kingdom. All wisdom comes from Jehovah and so do commonsense and understanding.