by Aaron Erhardt
Reviewed in Gospel Advocate, November 2009 Gospel
J.W. McGarvey once said that the Lord knew, before men discovered it, the power inherent in examples to motivate men to action. Consequently, inspiration saw fit to devote an entire book in the New Testament, Acts, to the chronicling of conversions. If everything pertaining to conversions, both successful attempts and failures, were stripped from its pages, there would be little left in Acts, McGarvey observed.
Building upon this premise, Aaron Erhardt has written a helpful little volume, Coming to Christ, examining the conversion accounts found throughout Acts. Erhardt's thesis is that if one determines how individuals became Christians in the first century, then the same process, guided by the same seed, will produce the same result today.
The first nine chapters trace the various accounts of conversion detailed in Acts, from the Jews in Acts 2 to the Ephesians in Acts 19. The 10th and final chapter is devoted to answering eight arguments commonly offered against baptism.
Using the English Standard Version as his text, Erhardt does not follow each account in a verse-by-verse fashion; rather, he includes only those passages pertinent to the study, allowing for cohesion and a smooth transition between topics. Selected scriptures are placed in boldface, with Erhardt's comments following. In lieu of end-of-chapter questions, a brief review closes each discussion.
Erhardt is careful to delineate between what the Bible teaches and popularly held notions in Christendom. Of particular benefit to the reader are the helpful charts interspersed throughout the book, making for a valuable supplement to the text. The gift of tongues, the blood of Christ and New Testament baptism versus infant baptism are among the topics to which Erhardt devotes special attention.
Coming to Christ would be an excellent gift for the gospel prospect. It will also broaden the knowledge of any Bible student, as the author has devoted much time mining choice "nuggets" that all sincere seekers will find enlightening.
- Brandon Renfroe, Ashville, Alabama
100 pages. Paperback.