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07/08/2011 / Test All Things

Book Review: Discovering Christ in Ruth – By Don Fortner

Discovering Christ in Ruth, by Donald S. Fortner;

Paperback; 138 pages;

Published by Evangelical Press.

Referring to the Book of Ruth, William Gadsby wrote: “Jesus my Boaz is, my Strength and Portion too” and God’s people have loved to read the book in this way. So it is refreshing to read this beautiful book, sub-titled “The Kinsman Redeemer,” written by an American preacher.

In nineteen short chapters the author opens up the Book of Ruth, insisting that the vital point is redemption. [and indeed it is]

We are glad to find such clear emphasis on the doctrines of grace and the sinner’s helplessness in salvation. For instance on page 66 we read:

“He chose some and passed others by. He sent His Son to redeem some, but not others. Christ makes intercession for some, but not others. He sends His Word to some, but not others. The Holy Spirit regenerates and calls some, but not others. All whom the Father chose, the Son redeemed and the Spirit calls will be saved all of them and no one else, no matter what. ‘Salvation is of the Lord!'”

Again on page 97:

“Blessed is that sinner who has been taught by the grace of God
something of the abject poverty of his soul before God. Poor, hungry and in
desperate need of help, he will humbly take his place in the dust before the
throne of grace, seeking mercy.”

Extremely strong is Mr. Fortner on the nature of redemption on page 124:

“Let unbelieving religious men argue and debate as they will, the blood of Christ was shed for and redeemed a particular people. There is not even a hint of universal redemption to be found in Holy Scripture. Everywhere in the Bible, when redemption is typified, prophesied and explained, it is set forth as being the particular, effectual redemption of a specifically chosen people called l the elect’ (Isa. 53. 8; Acts 20. 28; Gal. 3. 13; Eph. 5. 25-27; Titus 2. 14; Rev. 5. 9).”

It is most gratifying to read words like these when in many evangelical
churches Baxterian or Fullerite views are the order of the day an indefinite
redemption depending on the sinner’s acceptance.

We need a salvation that saves, a redemption that redeems.

We cannot agree with Mr. Fortner that it is only through the gospel that God calls out His people. We suspect that this is a reaction against the “anti-means” teaching in some churches in the southern States. While we believe that God has appointed the gospel for gathering in His people, we believe He is sovereign and that also He can and does quicken sinners irrespective of any means though we believe those sinners will be led by the Holy Spirit to know and love the gospel, experiencing its saving and sanctifying effects.

As well as being so strong on the doctrines of divine truth, this is a most interesting book.

By B.A. Ramsbottom


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