Book Review: By This Conquer

By This Conquer: Studies In The Epistle to the Philippians

By: Andrew Borland

By This Conquer continues Ritchie’s Classic Reprint series. Subtitled ‘Studies in the Epistle to the Philippians’, it is a verse-by-verse commentary that will prove helpful to a wide age range of readers. The name Andrew Borland was associated with Believer’s Magazine for more than three decades, and he was Editor of the Magazine for most of that period. All who remember his editorial precision will not be disappointed by his elegant prose in By This Conquer. The clarity of his writing will also be appreciated by a wider 21st century readership.

In his Foreword, the author modestly suggests that this book contains “nothing new”; he claims to leave that to “more scholarly and more original thinkers”. Yet his exposition of Philippians is much more than a re-working of other writers’ interpretations, and he parts company with many in his approach to Philippians 3.11-12. His defence of Christ’s Person, as presented in Philippians 2, is trenchant. He states clearly his defence of both the Lord’s deity and His humanity and, in so doing, he opposes emphatically those who try to have one foot in the camp that would dare to present ‘a fallible Christ’, and the other in a more fundamentalist camp. He strips aside their veneer of reverence to Christ to expose their desire to have “a non-miraculous Jesus … that leads to a purely legendary Christ.”

The chapters of By This Conquer were originally published in a monthly magazine, so every verse is not covered in the same level of detail. Many younger readers will be encouraged by the brevity of the chapters – 30 chapters are covered in 232 pages. By This Conquer is a good choice for Ritchie’s Classic Reprint Series. To those familiar with his writing, it is Andrew Borland at his best. To others who never heard him preach, or who may not have had opportunity to read his articles or books, By This Conquer will provide an introduction to an author who proved helpful to many in past generations.”

~ This review was originally published in the Believer’s Magazine (January 2017), written by Tom Wilson.

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