Book Review by Laura Martin

Book Review by Laura Martin

Laura Martin, daughter of Christ, has diligently blogged over 550 posts proclaiming her understanding and love of God, Jesus, faith and Bible study. For this reason, I asked her to set aside some of her precious time to review my book. I am thankful she agreed, and I aspire to transfer thoughts to paper as straightforwardly as she does. Thank you, Laura.

Lulu Publishing Services, 2015

I recently finished the rough draft of a book, and I’m considering my publishing options. I was pleased to find out that a friend’s sister, Debra Pedrow, just self-published a book.

The author has a personal passion and concern for the misuse of our God’s name. It has become commonplace to
use some version of God’s name as a curse, exclamation, or simply in other “common” or disrespectful ways. Sadly, even believers can take God’s name lightly.  I agree and share the author’s concerns. In 7 chapters in this 100 page book, the author thoughtfully shares Scripture and personal stories expounding upon why God’s name should not be misused.

She begins by talking about trash, literal garbage, ya know the junk we throw away. She compares this to the wrong use of God’s name. It is like we are spewing garbage from our mouth and treating God’s name like trash. This theme continues through the book. Here is an excerpt:

“God, Jesus, Christ, and Jesus Christ are positive and loving names. Names that demand the highest regard of human respect our finite minds can conceive. These names should never be used as trash words. Yet, we trash them daily when we use The Name incorrectly in any unloving or unholy manner. This improper way of speech includes expressing pleasure when using The Name in a common way….To misuse the Lord’s name in vain even while in a joyful mood speaking about a joyful event, turns The Name into an ordinary adjective erasing all sovereign authority.” (page 21 -22)

We might only think of God’s name being misused as a curse or in anger, yet Debra points out that it can be misused in positive times as well. She does clarify that, of course, God’s name can be exclaimed in respectful and appropriate ways in life. Yet the difference is usually apparent in whether the name is being used in worship/respect/thanks or in a common or light way that is not honoring to God.

The book focuses on the 3rd commandment found in Exodus 20:7. In one chapter, she looks at the verse in multiple (12) versions of the Bible. Each verse says the same things but with slightly different words, and it is really interesting how the various translations help bring out a different nuance of this command. Debra also does a good job explaining the word YHWH in the Hebrew.

While I thought the New Testament could have been given a bit more focus, Debra does bring in the New Testament as well, pointing out how the name of Jesus is one of power, truth, and authority. At least a couple times, the gospel or good news that we are saved by faith through Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross is mentioned. It is not what we do, but what Jesus did for us. We can have full forgiveness for our sins, including misusing God’s name.

The end of each chapter has questions for group discussion or personal reflection. If you are a reader, you could easily read this book in a couple hours. In a society where the misuse of God’s name has become commonplace, even among some Christians, the message of this book needs to be heard. Thanks for your efforts Debra, and sharing your concern and passion for this topic.

**For anyone interested, here is a past post of mine on a related issue: It’s about Jesus…part 6. The honor of His Name.

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