UK Christian Bookshops Directory: Christian Book Reviews: What Could I Be?
What Could I Be? What Could I Be?
A Handbook on Becoming More Like Jesus

Peter Hicks
ISBN 9781844740635 (1844740633)
IVP, 2005 (297pp)

Category: Christian Life & Discipleship

The cover says, "WHAT COULD I BE? PETER HICKS". My reaction is, "No Way!" I could never be like Peter. He's one of my all-time heroes. I couldn't write like he does — so vividly, clearly, readably. I couldn't combine expertise in such different areas — philosophy, pastoral work, preaching, evangelism (not to mention building & DIY!). And I couldn't approach the spirituality he exemplifies and describes here. Here is Peter, writing from his heart, the heart we got to know and love at LST. We were so privileged to have him on the Faculty here for so long, and now miss him hugely after his retirement to Wales: and it's lovely to hear his voice again in the pages of this book, which brings to completion his trilogy with IVP, What Could I Say? and What Could I Do?

What Could I Be? starts with a magnificent evocation of God himself, the great I AM — and the great presupposition of this book, which rests on the passion that we can only discover what we really are, as human beings, in relation to God and in obedience to him.

The bulk of the book is devoted to 29 miniexhortations, like Hicksean sermonettes, in alphabetical order from 'Be Alive' and 'Be a Believer' to 'Be a Worshipper' and 'Be Your Real Self'. Each exhortation begins with a section exploring the theme (here the section on faith in 'Be a Believer' particularly stands out), then prints a series of biblical passages relevant to the theme, then some 'Phrases for meditation', a hymn or a prayer, a section expanding the exhortation with lots of practical specifics, and finally some 'Questions for Group Discussion'.

Altogether it amounts to a presentation of evangelical spirituality and discipleship — perhaps especially designed and useful for young believers, new to the faith and needing to discover a whole reorientation of their lives around Jesus. Maybe not for the faint-hearted or the strugglers, who could perhaps be discouraged by the strongly exhortatory tone ("I could never be all that!"), but definitely for the "young people" of 1 John 2:13-14 who have "conquered the evil one" and are ready for more battle!

Thank you, Peter — it's great to hear you speaking so clearly in this book.

Steve Motyer, March 2005

Steve Motyer teaches New Testament & Hermeneutics and is Theology & Counselling Course Leader at London School of Theology. He is the author of several books including Your Father The Devil? (Paternoster, 1997) and Discovering Hebrews (IVP, 2005).

Previously published by London School of Theology. Reused here by kind permission.


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