Tuesday, August 13, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Two Devotionals by Martin Roth

Love, Justice and Power: The Message of Passover for Christians by Martin Roth

Martin Roth writes this devotional from his perspective of growing up in a Jewish family and becoming a Christian later in his life. Included are Bible reading assignments and discussions. However, what I found special was when the author talked about his own experiences. His first Seder, or Passover Ceremony, was experienced at the home of his aunt and uncle in Tel Aviv where Roth had gone to work on a kibbutz after recently graduating from the university. It was his first Seder because his father, a refuge of World War II in New Zealand, had rejected his Jewish heritage.

Roth became a Christian at the age of forty-four after his Jewish experience and other experiences while living in Japan.

Another interesting story in this devotional is about Rabbi Harold Vallins, a man who went from being an atheist to a Rabbi to a Christian. Roth talked to him to learn how this happened and reading about it is fascinating as well as informative.

A Psalm for the Battle: Reflections on Psalm 18, Christians and Warfare by Martin Roth 
Roth's father was a Jewish refugee to New Zealand and a Communist who served in the New Zealand Air Force. After the war, he became anti-war, refused his war medals, and became a leader, along with Roth's mother, in the fight for nuclear disarmament.
The question the author poses is this: Should Christians kill as soldiers? The devotional goes through Psalms 18, analyzing each verse as it relates to war.

I found the quotes from Andrew Grills interesting. Grills was an Anglican chaplain with the Australian Defense Force. Another story I liked was the way a British general became an Anglican priest after he retired.

Both these devotionals are well worth the read.

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