William Farley. Gospel Powered Humility. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2011.
I recently finished reading Gospel Powered Humility by William Farley. If you think for one minute that pride is in check in your life or ministry, or if you ever find yourself inwardly entertaining the notion that you have pretty much arrived when it comes to the matter of walking humbly before God, I suggest you get this book and read it thoughtfully and prayerfully. But be warned: If you read this book, expect God to use the truth of His Word to bring conviction to your heart and mind. In fact, if you are spiritually sensitive at all you will not escape some measure of conviction while reading this study in humility.
Farley maintains that humility is “the most important virtue” and that it “is still the least valued” (9). Do you agree or disagree? I think if you read his contribution to this biblical study of humility, you will find yourself agreeing. “Humility is a necessary precedent for both justification and sanctification” (11). A proud person will not see or acknowledge his need of salvation. A proud person will not see or acknowledge his need for growing in grace. Farley does a great job of “unpacking” the truth that humility is a foundational virtue. Pride keeps people from responding to the Gospel, and pride hampers a believer’s growth in grace.
Farley is committed to the truth of Scripture and to faithfully preaching that truth. He acknowledges that this kind of commitment means that one runs the risk of being labeled a “fundamentalist,” but that this will be a concern only if you are proud (73). This might bring a wry smile to many of us, but is probably the strongest caveat I have for his book. If you have a stronger one, let me know and I will seek to humbly appreciate your observation.
I believe the need for humility in ministry leadership is as great, if not greater, than it has ever been. The same is true for those who are not in positions of leadership. I encourage you to read this book and see for yourself whether or not it impacts both your life and your ministry. I am confident it will impact both. God’s emphasis on humility and condemnation of pride is extensive in His Word. Those who profess to believe and defend that Word will do well to cultivate the grace of humility (James 4:6). To what extent does God find it necessary to resist you? It is never a good thing to be opposed by God.
Ministry suggestion: If you are really brave, you could use this book as the basis for a series of lessons in an Adult Bible Fellowship or Sunday School class at your church. Contact the Maranatha Bookstore for discounts on orders of multiple copies. You can also order Gospel-Powered Humility from Amazon by clicking here. Maranatha will receive a contribution from Amazon, and your purchase price is not affected.
Dave Lingle, Maranatha Bookstore Manager, February 23, 2012