PUBLICATION DATE: AUGUST 01, 2012
arol Ladd, known to many as ‘The Positive Lady’ takes us on a journey into 1 John with her new book entitled Unfailing Love, which continues her Positive Women Connection series.
Ms. Ladd breaks down this epistle for us in this six part book. Each part contains two chapters and each chapter ends with what she refers to as ‘Getting Personal’?a helpful tool to make what she has taught relevant to our lives in this current day and age. ‘Getting Personal’ is followed by a set of questions to reflect upon.
Unfailing Love is about three main distinctions in the epistle of 1 John. God is light, life and love. It’s these three factors that Ms. Ladd explores throughout the book. You are invited to experience “…its height and depth” by grasping a simpler understanding of what John has revealed to us in his epistle, thus being transformed in our lives.
It’s hard to be critical of any book that attempts to better explain an absolute truth about God’s word. I applaud Ms. Ladd for, yet again, helping to walk women through a book of the Bible rich with truth about who they are in God and the abundant love that the Creator has for them. For women who seek to come into a fuller relationship with Jesus Christ and His love, this is a wonderful resource. However, having said that, I did have some issues with Unfailing Love that I felt detracted from the author’s purpose.
At the beginning of each chapter, Ms. Ladd places a notable quote from various authors and poets. Underneath (and that’s my point) each quote, she then places a scripture quote. While they may have been relative to each other’s meaning, I was slightly annoyed that she would rank the human quote above the Biblical reference.
While I do feel this book is a good resource for a small group study, I feel it would have been more helpful had she given the actual scripture reference and translation at the time it was made and not at the end of the book under ‘Notes’. There are times where she will correctly place the reference and translation, but it’s not consistent throughout the book. For example, she will say things like, “Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that….” or, “In 1 John, we see that the meaning of this…”, yet she doesn’t tell us where in 1 Corinthians, or 1 John, it can be found.
Ms. Ladd has done her research in this book and for that I am grateful. I always feel better about a book when I can discern that the author has done their homework. However, I must quip that adding in quotes from so many different authors, even if applicable to the point, can be a distraction. I love Spurgeon as much as the next person, but he writes in old English so it takes more effort to go from contemporary writing to pondering the point of something someone wrote hundreds of years ago. Not just Spurgeon, but one author after another is quoted throughout Unfailing Love.
This is a book about 1 John, but please don’t be mistaken by how it is taught. It is not a verse by verse, chapter by chapter study. Rather, Ms. Ladd has gleaned from this wonderful epistle what John was trying to teach the church. It is in her point-by-point style of writing in this book that you will come to a better, or clearer, understanding of the epistle of 1 John as a whole.
Unfailing Love is a good read because it is a good message. It’s not a new message, yet a message that is as important to understand today as it was 2,000 years ago. This book would be a good reference for someone new in the Christian faith. With a number of poignant stories woven throughout the book, a believer would be apt to see themselves in one or more of them. It can be read as a standalone book or as a study in her Positive Women Connection series.
Having less quoting of notable authors; giving scripture references and translations at the quote and not at the end of the book; placing scripture above human quotes; and lastly, breaking down the epistle in its actual order, would have furnished this review a higher rating. I do wish to add, “Thank you Ms. Ladd for an interesting read.”