The Cosmic Center. Revised Edition. By D. Bruce Lockerbie. Portland: Multnomah Press, 1986. 194 pp. Cloth, $11.95.
The subtitle of this book tells its story: The Supremacy of Christ in a Secular Wasteland. Lockerbie does a commendable job of painting the despair, pain, and meaninglessness of philosophies which do not have the Lord Jesus Christ as their center. His discussions of materialism (pp. 34–42), hedonism (pp. 59–71), and nihilism (pp. 71–83) are especially outstanding. Pastors will find in these sections a rich mine of sermon illustrations.
Chapter 4, “The Secret at the Center: A Christian Cosmology,” is powerful. Lockerbie makes a strong argument that only in recognizing the Lordship of Christ can one find peace and joy in the center of the storm which is secularism in its many forms.
Let the reader beware, however, of the closing pages of the book. In the last twenty pages (pp. 169–88) Lockerbie questions whether those who die without ever having heard about Christ will be lost. He suggests that they will not (see, for example, pp. 173–79). He argues from Eph 4:7–10 and 1 Pet 3:19–22 and 4:6 that people will have a chance to trust in Christ after they die (p. 175). Unfortunately he neglects to discuss Luke 16:19–31; John 3:18; 8:24; Heb 9:27; and 1 John 5:10–11. He concludes by saying grudgingly, “We have no alternative, therefore, but to accept the probability—yes, the tragic certainty—that some rebels will go—sullen and cursing, or careless and laughing—their way into eternal damnation” (p.187). The broad way of Matthew 7 which Jesus said many will follow is changed by Lockerbie into a narrow way which only some will choose. Lockerbie clearly thinks that only a small percentage of all of humanity will be lost.
This is not a book for new believers or the untaught. However, for those well-grounded in the Scriptures it contains much of value.
Robert N. Wilkin
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society