Friday, August 15, 2008

Seven Score Short Sermons, Basil Overton

Seven Score Short Sermons, Basil Overton

This book contains 140 sermons that are grouped in areas of: Bible, Sin, Jesus Christ, The Resurrection of Christ, Faith or Belief, The Conscience, Baptism, What is a Christian, The Church, Apostasy, Music in Worship, Catholicism and Related Matters, The Sabbath and the Law, Miscellaneous, and Strong Drink. On average, each sermon is approximately 1.5 pages in length. Brother Overton has done an excellent job in being concise in this work so as to pack a substantial amount of information relating to fundamentals of Christianity. It takes effort and determination to write on a topic in such a short format and get across the points one needs to make.

It is important for growing Christians to learn the first principles New Testament Christianity. With the fragmented/segmented schedules some have today it becomes a challenge to find blocks of time to read. This work provides an excellent format to assist with this challenge. Each sermon is self-contained so the book can be put down and picked back up over the course of reading. It contains instruction for new Christians that will educate and strengthen them. It is also good material to read as part of your family’s devotional. The author’s stated design for the book is to be used for bulletins, magazines, newspapers, and to be shared with those not yet Christians. If feasible, a copy should be given to each new convert along with Why I am a Member of the Church of Christ by Leroy Brownlow. If a copy could not be given, then placing a copy in the church library for Christian to borrow and return when done is recommended.

An example of Basil Overton’s pointed lessons relates to the Catholic’s Church. The Catholics sometimes claim that they had given us the Bible as we have it today. This is very important since the Mormons attempt to give the Catholics the same credit so they can accuse them of tampering with the text. Both the Catholics & the Mormons are incorrect. In 397 A. D. was the first council that determined what books would be in the NT; however, we have copies of manuscripts which predate 397 A. D. which proves there was not tampering with the text as some would have us believe. Also, Boniface III was the first official pope, a title that he claimed for himself in 606 A. D. So the succession of popes from Peter to John Paul II is not continuous or even true. Brother Overton’s tone is not caustic and shows true concern for the truth and those in error.

Brother Overton is the founder of The World Evangelist and has been its sole editor since 1972. The World Evangelist has been in publication until 2004—over 32 years of articles designed to take the gospel to the world. His work as editor has had a very positive influence among the brotherhood. Brother Overton was kind enough to print my first article. He was one of my father’s instructors at Nashville Bible School. He is also retired Vice President and Bible Professor from Heritage Christian University (formerly International Bible College). As a young boy, I first remember meeting him at Cane Ridge, KY as he spoke on the topic of the Restoration Movement. Whenever feasible, I seek to hear him preach or to visit with him. He once told my father that he preferred to be introduced simply as a “Gospel Preacher” rather than a recitation of his academic qualifications. He has been a gospel preacher since 1945.

Some of the sermons from this book have also been printed in tract form entitled “Truth Tracts”. This provides another medium to share these lessons on the fundamentals of Christianity with those who visit our assembly or outside the assembly.

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