Book Review: Out of the Depths
During our travels westward last November, I had the opportunity to sit down with a pastor in Albuquerque, who was kind enough to give me a book by one of his favorite authors, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, entitled Out of the Depths: Restoring Fellowship with God. I had a few other books I was working on at the time, but I got around to reading it this past spring and finished it a couple months ago, so I thought I would finally get around to sharing my thoughts on it.
For starters, this is a pretty short, easy read. It is only 112 pages and flies by pretty quickly. Yet it was pretty densely packed with information on its central subject matter: the process of repentance necessary in a sinner’s life to experience salvation. It is clear that this was a sermon series that Lloyd-Jones had preached on compiled into book form. It consists of four chapters (or sermon messages) titled: “The Sinner’s Confession”, “The Sinner’s Helplessness”, “The Sinner’s Central Need”, & “Deliverance and New Life”. The central idea of Lloyd-Jones in these chapters that he develops is the process that we have to go through to come to repentance for our sinful state and accepting the gift of salvation through Christ, restoring fellowship with God. He studies this path to salvation within the context of Psalm 51, an interesting and eye-opening choice that really helps draw a through-line between God’s grace and forgiveness in both Old and New Testaments. As far as books go, it is a very well fleshed out treatise on the doctrine of Soteriology and is very thorough in its examination of Scripture, yet accessible for the average believer to follow and understand for their own edification. I don’t know if this is the first book I would choose to hand to a friend who does not know Christ (presuming they want to understand more about what sin is and why we need to repent and turn to God) because of the slightly dated language and illustrations, but as far as a teaching tool, I think it was well written and concise. In fact, where this book might prove to be most useful is in dealing with believers who have fallen away from God, who are hurting and confused and feel disconnected. This book would be a great encouragement to them on their journey back toward God. Ultimately, I enjoyed it and wouldn’t mind checking out more of Lloyd-Jones’ work.