Thursday, February 17, 2011

Book review - The Hungry Inherit.

The Hungry Inherit is a 128 page book written by Zane Hodges. The copy that I read was published in 1972. In his forward Charles Ryrie says that the purpose of the book is to "distinguish clearly salvation and discipleship." This the book does and does well.

The book is a departure from Hodges' normal writing style and is much more informal than he normally writes. Starting at the encounter at the well of Sychar and moving through Jesus' earthly ministry the book concludes in Revelation. All of the points are tied together in a story-telling type of format. In spite of the change in style, Mr. Hodges does not fail to support what he is saying with frequent Scripture citations. There are no footnotes though.

There were three things that I found particularly interesting in the course of the book. The first is the beginning scene at the well. Mr. Hodges' assessment of Jesus' words is done in light of the culture of the time. He brings the conversation to life, explains why the woman asked the questions she did, and correctly points out that Jesus had one conversation but in two parts with two different audiences. The woman he calls to salvation, the disciples to reformation and His work. The messages are clear, connected, and separate.

The second area that I found of special interest was Hodges' take on the parable of the soils or of the sower. I don't know how many times I have read or discussed this parable. In all those times I missed that the thorny soil does produce fruit, just not as it should have - to perfection. My take on the parable did not change in its essence but the point was well taken.

The third area that I found enlightening was Hodges' discussion of Revelation 21:8. In that passage a list is given of those who will inhabit the Lake of Fire. That list has caused many to say that if one habitually engages in such sins one is unsaved. Zane points out that believers can still engage in such sins, perhaps habitually. However their character, as viewed by God, is not defined by those failures but is defined by His grace. Comforting thought.

Overall I give this book a hearty recommendation. In spite of the laid back style, or perhaps because of it, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and learned much. While not a theological dissertation, the book does an excellent job of breaking the truth down so as to be easily absorbed.

1 comment:

Holly M said...

Hi Spiff,

I just wanted to point out for all of your readers that although this book is currently out of print, Grace Evangelical Society is planning to rerelease it along with "The Gospel Under Siege" and "Grace in Eclipse" later this year.