So why is it important for a Christian apologist to read a book on ministering to those who are ill? As a Christian apologist, our end goal is not just to give a defense of the faith but to glorify God. And part of glorifying God is to situate apologetics in the context of evangelism. To see the good news gets shared in an winsome, intelligent and godly fashion. We want to see people hear the gospel, to know it and to know it’s true so that they can experience the realities of eternal life and forgiveness of sin. With that note, I like this book’s quotation of Richard Baxter, that “Even the stoutest sinner will hear us on their death-bed, though they scorned us before” (41). Thus an apologist should not only merely be ready to give the hope that is within him or her, but be ready to do this in various situations. It’s not enough that a young man knows how to rehearse a philosophical treatment of the problem of evil–he must be able to minister correctly with God’s Word accurately and pastorally. It’s not enough to be Biblical in apologetics methodology (Presuppositional apologetics!) but also in counseling.
This is a very practical book for pastors and non-pastors on Christian visitation ministry towards the sick. Visiting the sick and caring for those who are ill is an important function of the church and as I pastor a congregation that is fairly young, I have not had much experience with regular visitation of the sick so I got this book to get me thinking about this not so much for it’s theological foundation but the practical wisdom. This work is helpful for the laity. The book begins by letting readers know that some of the pointers will be common sense that one should already know–but he rightly points out how it’s never a bad thing to be reminded of them. Some of the things I found helpful to think about is consider praying the gospel; in the instance of a visitation that didn’t go according to plan and you are not able to see the sick, you should leave a hand written note for the individual and their family. Hand written notes will also stick more strongly in terms of impression than just talking. Makes a good point not to overstay one’s welcome during visitation especially if the patient is under extreme pain; it’s always better to err on the side of staying too short than staying too long. I appreciated Croft sharing how he brings up the Gospel and spiritual matters during his visitation. My only complaint about this book is that it was too short–the biblical and theological foundation I found lacking in the sense that it was too brief and I would love to see more practical pointers and wise principle.