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Blackaby, Richard & Blackaby, Henry. Flickering Lamps: Christ and His Church. Blackaby Ministries International, 2015. 139 pages.Flickering Lamps, written by Henry and Richard Blackaby, is the best book on the seven churches of Revelation that is not written about the seven churches of Revelation, I have ever read. Let me explain. The background is the move of Henry Blackaby from serving a vibrant church in Downey, California to a struggling isolated church in Saskatoon, Canada. From sun and surf to forty degrees below zero! The climatic shift seen in his move was reflected in the ministry setting he left and later found on arrival in Canada. Henry’s experiences as God manifested Himself in this cast-off congregation caused him to identify with God’s dealings with the seven churches of Revelation. The lessons of the churches of Asia Minor, became those of Faith Baptist Church.
Through the journey of Henry and Faith Baptist Church, readers are reminded of what God can do. We witness what is possible when a group of disciples, who have not forgotten that they are the Bride of Christ and that Jesus is their Head can still have miraculous experiences as He “walks in their midst.” It is for the purpose of reminding pastors and the churches they serve that this book was penned.
The book is broken into six chapters and each focuses on a situation associated with one of the churches in Revelation. Using alliteration (a tool I find contrived, but it makes remembering a little easier), the author highlights Christ’s Purpose, Plans, Presence, Power, Provision and Pre-eminence as it relates to His church. In each chapter, the situation in Saskatoon is explored and reveals how Faith Baptist Church either forgot or needed to persevere in that given area. As such, the book is very down to earth and relatable to the local church setting.
That which blessed me the most, and why I recommend this book to pastors, is Dr. Blackaby’s call to churches to live in light of the power and presence of Christ is powerfully evident in each chapter. Church service is difficult. Sometimes this is because of mistakes that have been made, errors on our part or because we are working with flawed people as a imperfect individual. Consequently, His body can be a messy place to live. Yet, this book reminds readers that the church is His body and He is the head. It is to Him we are accountable. When given the opportunity, Christ shows up and demonstrates His glory.
The book is a short read, only 139 pages. Each chapter is concise and loaded with experiences that call the reader to God. I thank Richard and Henry Blackaby for reminding pastors and church leaders of Christ’s glory in the church with Flickering Lamps.