Thursday, February 28, 2008

Divine Relationships (Five Minute Gospel Messages From 1 Peter), Winford Claiborne

Divine Relationships (Five Minute Gospel Messages From 1 Peter), Winford Claiborne

Attending Freed-Hardeman University was a great blessing to my life for many reasons. Not only did I meet my Christian spouse there (which is sufficient reason for all Christian young people to attend a Christian college), but we also established relationships that will last for eternity. I attended a state university for my graduate degree and the difference in environment between the Christian campus and secular campus is striking. Not only can relationships be established between students, but relationships can be established with professors who show such dedication to their students. One of the blessings my wife and I received was establishing a relationship with Winford Claiborne as our professor for General Epistles. We had the privilege of listening to his instruction on 1 Peter first-hand. I remember his emphasis on 1 Peter being an epistle emphasizing divine relationships so the title of this book is very appropriate. Brother Claiborne also served as Director of the Freed-Hardeman Bible Lectureship for several years.

The book contains 155 chapters that represent five-minute messages brother Claiborne delivered on the International Gospel Hour. Brother Claiborne became the main speaker for the program in 1995 after retiring from teaching at Freed-Hardeman after the aging V. E. Howard was looking to turn over the longest continuously produced radio broadcast program in the world. The chapters of the book follow the verses of 1 Peter for easy reference. The amount of information that can be expounded from 1 Peter is astonishing. The depth of the subject matter of 1 Peter was impressive in the classroom and just as impressive in this book. The book deals with great themes such as our relationship to Jesus, the Gentiles’ relationship to God in the church, our relationship to government, the relationship between husbands and wives, defending the faith, suffering as a Christian, relationship with worldly friends, and our relationship with our adversary the devil, to name a few subjects.

The chapters are brief which allows for reading during brief intervals. The chapters are very informative including relating texts, word studies, moral applications, and thought provoking questions. Due to the great esteem and love that my family has for Winford Claiborne, it may appear that I am being biased in favor of brother Claiborne. My response is that my great respect for Winford Claiborne was formed as I sat and listened to him deliver the gospel truths from 1 Peter first-hand in the spring of 1990. I am thankful that God has preserved brother Claiborne so he could prepare this volume and you have the opportunity to see why brother Claiborne is worthy of your respect and attention. If you have an opportunity to tune into the International Gospel Hour then do so and encourage others to listen. International Gospel Hour also has a web site
( ) that contains sermon texts and audio files of previous lessons. If you enjoy great “true to the Book” gospel preaching that is direct and plain, then you will not be disappointed.

Originally printed West Virginia Christian, Vol. 14, No. 7, July 2007, p. 8. Reprinted by permission.

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