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Gospel-Powered Humility Paperback – September 6, 2011
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"In The Holiness of God, R. C. Sproul says that the reason he wrote a book was holiness was a deep awareness of his own lack of holiness. Similarly, William Farley wrote this book out of an awareness of his lack of humility. . . . Gospel-Powered Humility carefully grounds humility in the good news of the gospel. This is a book that will teach and convict every believer." --Tim Challies, blogger, author, pastor, and social media consultant
About the Author
William P. Farley is the senior pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship, a nondenominational evangelical church in Spokane, Washington. This award-winning author's writing experience is extensive and diversified. He has published articles in Discipleship Journal, Enrichment Journal, and Focus on the Family Magazine. Bill and his wife, Judy, live in Spokane, Washington.
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take heed to lessons in this book. If you are serious about your faith this is a must read.
Part one overviews the problem which faces every human being. That problem is identified as a soul-numbing sin - the sin of pride. Of course, the remedy for pride is humility which is defined upfront by the author: "Humility is the ability to see spiritual reality, to see things as they really are. It is the capacity to see myself in God's light, in the context of his holiness and my sinfulness. In other words, it is the ability to see self, and this world, through God's eyes."
Farley underscores a major paradox that runs through the book: "The proud man think he is humble, but the humble man thinks he is proud. The humble man sees his arrogance. He sees it clearly, and as a result he aggressively pursues a life of humility, but he doesn't think of himself as humble. The proud man is completely unaware of his pride. Of all men he is most convinced that he is humble." The author exposes and addresses this paradox throughout the remainder of his work.
Part two applies the gospel to the humble man. The author shows how people are humbled by God's wrath, the final judgment, the sinfulness of sin, gospel-centered faith and preaching. This section hits readers between the eyes and does a terrific job of revealing the biblical categories for life change.
Finally, part three addresses the fear of man and humility in leadership. The practical application in this section is certainly worth the price of the book.
Gospel-Powered Humility is one of those books that never made it to the best sellers list. William Farley writes with strong biblical conviction which is laced with pastoral wisdom and sensitivity. If readers long for a feel-good book that panders to sin and strokes the ego, look elsewhere. But if readers are looking for truth which transforms, look no further than Gospel-Powered Humility.
The fact of the world is that there is a great tendency among people in general to have so high a view of themselves, that they are guilty of possessing a low view of God. The main concern of the author is this.
"My contention is that the church is most apt to fulfill its God-given purpose when we preach the gospel in such a way that it produces a faith that humbles sinner and saints alike." (12)
Thus begins a book that touches on the topic of humility in three parts. In Part One, Farley hits hard at the state of pride in man's heart. Two chapters essentially drive home the point that pride is very much alive and thriving in the world today, even within the church. The sick person needs to be convinced that he is sick.
"Pride is the opposite. It is spiritual blindness. It is a delusional, inflated view of self. It is unreality on steroids. And the scary part is this: The thing to which we are most blind is our pride. A demonic Catch-22, pride causes us to chase our spiritual tails. We cannot see pride - even though it is our most grievous, disabling sin - because its very nature is blindness, and the first thing to which it is blind is its own existence." (26)
The four reasons why humility matters. It is necessary for conversion, for sanctification, for seeing clearly what God is doing, and for producing a humble faith. Thankfully, instead of just barking up the tree of condemnation and disgust, the author has gently ushered in the good news, that humility is essentially not a 'negative view of self' but an ability to see ourselves as God sees. Farley then brings out examples from social research to show us that the pride is everywhere in our society.
Part Two talks about the true gospel that humbles us in at least five ways. Firstly, we are humbled by the wrath of God simply because saving faith always humbles one initially. Secondly, we are humbled by the final judgment through two guarantees of God's justice together with God's love. Thirdly, we are humbled by the sinfulness of sin. Farley distinguishes the biblical usage of sin (singular) to denote the presence of sinful attitude, and sins (plural) to denote the presence of sinful acts. The former drives the latter, which is why it is critical to attack the root of vice: Pride. Fourthly, we are humbled by Faith Alone. Using the analogy of a bankrupt person, prideful people are unaware of their own spiritual bankruptcy, and cannot comprehend why they need to repent. Fifthly, we are humbled by the history of preaching. The preachers of old refuse to bow down to the fear of man, and is able to preach the full gospel due to their fear of God. In order for the good news to be preached and to take root in the hearts of people, the bad news have to be preached.
Part Three is most helpful as it brings together the gospel-powered humility that we all need to grow. Fighting pride is a major spiritual battle. This is highly important because this battle is not external but very much internal.
Even though there are already other books written on humility, the continual presence of pride makes this book a necessary write and a compulsory read. There is too much pride that it is filling the church with puffed-up superiority that makes the church look hypocritical and downright ugly in the eyes of the public. This book is a humble and honest attempt to burst this bubble.
Every Christian ought to read this book. Every leader ought to practice this book. Every preacher ought to preach this message. Pride is that one gaping hole in our vessels that will drain out whatever goodness we fill into them. Humility more than patches up this hole. Humility in Christ heals and renders our hearts whole.
Rating: 5 stars of 5.
This book is provided to me free of charge without any obligation for a positive review. The comments given above are freely mine.