Sterling author draws on Old, New Testament passages for answers

Book Review

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2002

Enter God's Rest (Now!)

By Lee E. Scaggs

Morris Publishing

Using a simple question-and-answer format, author Lee Scaggs of Sterling poses questions about living a guilt-, condemnation- and shame-free Christian life, "how to cease forever striving to make ourselves acceptable to God." The answers are drawn from passages of the Old and New Testament.

Tying them together are details of the author's personal journey from being an avowed atheist to his acceptance of "Christ Jesus as my Lord and savior."

He shares incidents from his life as an ordained pastor, the challenges of his physical ailments and the lessons that came through those experiences. He even relies on his familiarity with electronics engineering, a career that won him an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, to help explain and diagram some of the teachings.

Scaggs does not claim to have written a book for nonbelievers, although "reading it may be instrumental for such ones to become true Bible believers." Nor is it meant to be a devotional book or one that would stir the emotions and be an inspiration to follow God.

Instead, his intention is to address "those truly born again, to assist in leading you to walk 'by grace through faith.'"

Using a computerized Bible search program to link key phrases and words -- such as soul, spirit, disease, and love -- Scaggs identifies specific verses that can provide understanding.

Combining a study of the scriptures with research in neuroscience, he draws conclusions about the basic nature of man and man's ultimate destination.

"We are not what we think we are; but rather what we think, we are, and are becoming!" Scaggs writes.

The conclusions, he points out, are the need for instruction and discipline in child-rearing; being individually accountable, rather than blaming God, for what we become; and recognizing that on our own we are incapable and unworthy of judging others.

He addresses the struggle that is part and parcel of living a Christian life and cautions against the bad counsel that comes from such sources as the news media, educational, political and entertainment leaders, modern psychology and "Satan-inspired and empowered" ploys.

Neither an individual's sense of self-confidence nor sense of helplessness is of value, according to Scaggs.

"The truth is that both of these are of the flesh, terribly wrong and equally destructive," he writes. "The answer to both of these problems is the same. ... We can do nothing of ourselves. Apart from his indwelling Holy Spirit we are nothing, have nothing and can do nothing. Our sufficiency is of and only from Jesus Christ living in us through whom we can do all things."

Insisting that humans cannot live without external direction and power, which will come either from Satan or God, he encourages an acceptance of God's "powerful and intense longing to be our 'Heavenly Father' and be the source and supply of everything we need."

It is a matter of who is in control. According to the author, that awareness is to glimpse the perfect law of liberty referred to in Paul's letter to the Romans.

"There can be no greater freedom and liberty than this," Scaggs writes.

McKibben Jackinsky is a free-lance writer who lives in Ninilchik.

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