A Defining Work on Faith (Book Review)

Miller, Craig. The Implications of Faith. DM Literature. 2018. 272 pages.

Walk an aisle. Sign a card. Say a prayer. For many professing Christians, this is what it means to come to faith in Jesus. In fact, when pressed with the question, “How do you know you are a Christian?” the answer will settle on what the professing believer did at that moment in time. It becomes about what they did with no regard to how they are living now. They have misunderstood what it means to place their faith in Christ and what it truly looks like to believe. In these muddy waters, there is a need for biblical clarity. Craig Miller answers this need in his new book The Implications of Faith.

A Biblical Portrait of Faith

As part of the “Inviting Revival” series, The Implications of Faith serves as a primer in a biblical portrait of faith. Over twenty chapters, Miller paints a picture of how the Bible defines faith and describes what faith lived out looks like in a Christian’s life. He lays out the foundation of faith with grace (part 1), highlights the crisis of faith as costly (part 2), describes the journey of faith in holiness (part 3), warns about the enemies of faith (part 4), and looks forward to faith made complete (part 5). Each section pairs biblical truth with engaging analogies and transparent stories to teach the reader on how to live their faith out in following Jesus.

Clarifying Faith

This teaching is at its strongest in The Implications of Faith as Craig Miller guides the reader to a clarifying understanding and application of faith. He spends the bulk of the book describing faith and defines faith according to Scripture (Miller 209). The clarity from this book doesn’t stop with how it describes and defines faith, though. The author does a faithful job explaining the doctrine of election and the nature of spiritual gifts in a manner that does not run to extremes but rather corrects those extremes. Even if the reader does not agree with the position of the author, because of the book’s clarity, the reader will know where the author stands and where they get it from Scripture. The clarity this book offers is a gift and a blessing to those who are wanting to know what it means to place their faith in Jesus and follow Him!

A Little More Clarity

For all the commendations on clarity, there are a couple of places that could have benefited from a little more of it. The first comes in a discussion on the Spirit and the Scriptures. Craig says, “The Scriptures, however, are not the only way God speaks to us” (Miller 122). A few pages later, he adds: “The Holy Spirit is extra-Biblical, but he is never counter-Biblical” (Miller 137). Discerning what is of the Spirit is done by the Word of God. Understanding his point, for readers who may not be as mature in their understanding of the Bible and theology, I wonder if it would not be clearer to affirm the Scriptures are not the only way God speaks to us while also stating alongside that Scripture is the only authoritative way God speaks.

At the same time, for those more mature in their reading of Scripture, they may wonder how to handle the biblical command to fear the Lord if fear is described as it is in chapter 15. To be sure, there is a type of fear that cannot align with love, which is the fear mentioned in 1 John 4:18 and described in the book. So, while there is no issue within chapter 15 itself with the term fear used, providing a clarifying comment on how this fear differs from the fear of the Lord could have been helpful.

A Defining Work

These minor considerations do not take away from the value and quality this book offers. Craig’s heart for the gospel and his desire for clarity on the essentials of the Christian faith are a big reason why The Implications of Faith is a defining work on biblical faith. If you are a Christian who wants to know what it truly means to live a life of faith, get this book. Moreover, if you are a pastor who wants to warn the people in your congregation against the error of easy believism and guide them to the truth of following Christ, get and give copies of The Implications of Faith to read through individually and discuss as a group!

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