The New Birth

Following fourteen years as a parish minister in the Church of Scotland, Dr Andrew McGowan became the first Director of the Highland Theological Institute which opened in Elgin in N.E. Scotland in 1994. He writes with special concern for the young Christian: ‘This is a guidebook intended for those who have embarked on the journey of faith.' His principal aim is that they reach a better understanding of what has happened, and will happen, to them as a consequence of the new birth which marks the very beginning of the Christian's new life and leads to the faith which is the gift of God's grace.After helpful chapters on the need for, and the nature of regeneration, there are three chapters dealing with justification, and six on sanctification. In this way, Dr McGowan shows how the new birth leads to a new relationship with God and to holiness of life. John Blanchard remarks in his Foreword, ‘All the important doctrines involved in the experience of becoming a Christian are carefully linked together in a way which makes one marvel all the more at the grace of God in salvation.' The treatment of these doctrines is naturally brief as this book is intended as a ‘starter'. Should we look forward to a ‘finisher'? The reader is presented with an abundance of Bible references as he goes along, rather than at the ends of chapters, and he is advised to ‘look up the passages from the Bible as they are mentioned'.In Chapter 13, the author points to how regeneration fits into the doctrines already examined, showing from Romans 8: 28 - 30 how Paul is speaking about the place of born-again people in God's plan, and the certainty of salvation of those upon whom God has set his love in advance. In Chapter 14, Dr McGowan deals with ‘effectual calling', to show how the salvation provided for God's people in Jesus Christ takes place.The final chapter addresses the non-Christian reader with searching questions. This book should be available on the church bookstall.