Temple Chima Ubochi
BOOKREVIEW: A Review of ''BASIC PRINCIPLES'' by Vincent Aja
Published by Rosedog Books, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2010
It was a privilege and honour to be asked to review this ecumenical book. For me, I didn't deserve that honour, but, when the author insisted that I do it, I told him how scared I was about it. The point is that I'm one of those not living up to their names. If my father were to be alive today, he would have been disappointed in me for failing him after he gave me " Temple" as a name. I've been running away from God's work, but, each time, He finds me. I'm a sinner (may God forgive me of my sins), that's the reason why I didn't see myself as the best person to do this review, but, God says I must do it.
The author, Vincent Aja, a friend and a charismatic revivalist, is currently a missionary with the Kingfisher International Baptist Church, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He was born 47 years ago, and grew up in Ihietutu Ishiagu in the present day Ivo local Government Area of Ebonyi State in Nigeria.
The book "Basic Principles" is simple and easy to read. It's not hard to discern how well versed in the Bible the author is, because, he supported almost every point in the book with a biblical quotation. For those like me who have lost their religion, the book might help them to find their ecumenical bearings once again.
Have you ever asked yourself why there is no power in the Churches today, just like the days of old, such as those of Prophet Elijah and the Apostles? Do you know that what is theologically sound could be Biblically incorrect? Do you know that, it is not what you say that makes you a Christian but what you do? If you have had these questions in your mind, then pick up "Basic Principles" by Vincent Aja. In this book you will find out that there is nothing mythic, mysterious or mystic about "GRACE". The author used what had happened in the Netherlands Antilles and Curacao in 2000 to give meaning to the word "GRACE" and shows that God's Grace cannot work where there is no true Repentance.
The book sees a Christian as somebody who makes peace with God through Christ. It makes it clear that what's important to God is for us to be in love and to bring converts for Him and that denomination matters less.
In the book, one can easily understand that the laws in the Bible are not for the gentiles who failed to recognise the God of Israel, but for the believers among them, so that they will come to terms with the will of God. Likewise, the Bible as a gift from God, is meant for humankind and not the Christians alone.
For those teaching that the kingdom has been taken away from the Jews and given to the gentiles, the book advices that it was better for people to understand the kind of relationship God has with His people before making wrong assertions. The book says that due to the covenant God made with Abraham, He said even the sins of the Israelites would never make Him to forsake them as His chosen people. The Israelites received punishments for their sins, but, they still remain the chosen ones. Jesus Christ then came to the world and became and is the bridge to the Gentiles. Through the blood of Jesus Christ, both the Israelites and the Gentiles are reconciled to God. That would not in any way exonerate a sinner, whether a Jew or a Gentile, from the wrath of God.
The book wonders why all the furore about the law, when it is only to love God and our neighbours truly. Here, he who offends anybody, offends God also, so the best is for everybody to have love for all, because, he/she who hates another has no love also for God. But God is always ready to give us a second chance to mend our bad way, it's up to you and me to reconcile with God or destroy ourselves.
The book reminds us that crisis in life is part of our growing process and would always be there as it leads to our maturity. No matter our situation, there's a similarity of it in the Bible from which we can draw inspiration and courage and they might help us to overcome the problem. That's why we should go back to our Bible for help always. For us to understand everything about our life, be it slavery, poverty, temptations, persecutions, bad leadership, corruption etc we have to recourse to the Bible for answers.
The book says that life is more than money and fame, but, has to do more with self-discovery and that once this is achieved, inner peace and joy would be granted. The book also bemoaned the moral degradation in our societies today because the people have forsaken God and His rules.
The book also frowns at the monetization of the world and because of it the world has lost its sense of shame or guilt. The commercialization of the gospel took a dress down in the book. For the author, disobedience has led to people misinterpreting the words of God and living ungodly life. For the author, preachers should stop deceiving the people with their prosperity preaching as this has led to the power of God/holy spirit to take flight from our churches today. Without the Holy Spirit being in the church, such a place looses it meaning and relevance and becomes void. Th author is troubled that many churches are springing up for commercial purpose, all teaching different doctrines and misinterpreting the Bible as they deem fit and these are causing a lot of chaos. For the author, the attitude of some latter day preachers are not depicting them as true men of God and this has made many people to loose interest in the gospel of our lord Jesus Christ, because, intellectualism, materialism, faithlessness, disobedience and self-deceit have all taken over the place of spirituality, piety and righteousness in Christianity.
Mr. Vincent Aja is praying Jehovah the Almighty God to speak to your heart through this book, and may you never gamble with your salvation, Shalom.
"Basic Principles" is obtainable at www.rosedogbookstore.com, or at Amazon books online by typing in "Basic Principles by Vincent Aja". Brother Vincent Aja can be reached at 005999-5161720.
THE THANXS IS ALL YOURS!!!