Dr. Greg Bahnsen, noted Apologist, Postmillennialist, and author of Theonomy in Christian Ethics, passed away in 1995. Sometime before he passed away I found this little booklet by him, God’s Good News. We had Dr. Bahnsen speak at our church, the St. Paul Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Ms., the year of his death. As we visited one of the things I asked him was if he minded if I used and even “tweaked” his booklet a bit. He graciously told me I could use it any way I wished.
God’s Good News is no “Gospel in a nutshell.” (You might call it “The Gospel in a Coconut Shell!”) “There are many ways in which we might summarize the gospel,” he states in his Introduction. Some, he noted, are short and simple enough for a child to understand. “On the other hand some further detail will prove beneficial in elaborating on this brief account of God’s good news.” That’s what this booklet is, a detailed elaboration of God’s good news. It’s no “Romans Road of Salvation;” it’s more of a “Calvin’s Road of Salvation!”
The book is a hodge podge of information that would be useful to a man of business back in the late 19th Century. There are sections dedicated to penmanship, business letter writing, and the dos and don’t of social and business etiquette. One section in the book is called “Unclassified Laws of Etiquette.” It’s a list of different rules of etiquette that didn’t quite fit under the other specific headings (funeral etiquette, etiquette in the home, etc). While the list was written over 100 years ago and some of the suggestions are a bit archaic and random, the advice is still strikingly resonant. It manages to cover many, many of the gaps in etiquette which have transformed society into a veritable Swiss cheese of incivility. If a man puts these suggestions into practice, he will definitely set himself apart from the other knuckleheads out there trying to land a job or catch the eye of a godly young woman. Looking down the list, I can see several areas were I could use some improvement. Here’s to becoming more refined gentlemen!