The Stuff of Martyrs
by Darrel Cline
The introduction narrows the scope of this book to evangelicals who have a basic grasp of biblical truth. It establishes the focus upon God as His truth relates to me in my problems and pain. It assumes the reality of God and our ignorance of Him. It acknowledges the confusion we face in stress and calls upon us to get to know Him better.
Chapter One: The Martyr's Secret
This chapter opens the book by giving a series of illustrations of the kinds of painful situations that we face. These illustrations are categorized under the three areas of temptation/stress: the tyrannical body, the whimpering soul, and the arrogant spirit. Throughout this section, the question is continually raised as to whether there is any hope for us. This question is then addressed by the question: What did the Martyrs Know? Answers are given from missions, secular work situations, and the Bible. These realms are then shown to fit the biblical trichotomy of our makeup (body, soul, and spirit) and reinforced by an exposition of the creation record.
Chapter Two: The Martyr's Simplicity
This chapter argues that life is not as complicated as many in our day try to make it. There is a fundamental reality that actually paves our way and makes sense out of the chaos: a fundamental commitment to listening to God.
Chapter Three: The Martyr's Support
This section opens with a statement of my assumptions regarding my readers. It then moves into the issue of God's sufficiency for me in my situation. It shows that sufficiency must have a legitimate backdrop, questions God's willingness to provide such a thing, and sets forth the fundamental directions that God's provisions will take.
Chapter Four: The Martyr and the Misty Mountains
Here I acknowledge the difficulty that exists in trying to understand God's actions in our lives. I address the issues of unbelief, God's fundamental love, and the typical theological answers given to the question of what He is up to. The conclusion is a rather lengthy exposition of God's love from John 3:16.
Chapter Five: More Mist on the Mountains
This chapter is a statement of the inescapable reality of values in conflict within us. It addresses how God juggles the tensions of His values in our lives and suggests a heirarchy of faith, eternity, spirit, soul, and body as a foundation upon which we can build our understanding of what God is doing in our lives.
Chapter Six: The Martyr and the Covenant
Here I move directly into the heart of the message of the book. Man is God's creation and his needs have long been addressed by God in the terms of the Abrahamic Covenant. I have categorized that covenant in terms of a land for the body, a seed for the soul, and a great name for the spirit. These promises show God's enduring commitment to our real needs, and explain the covenant so that we can live by it.
Chapter Seven: The Martyr and the Twentieth Century
In this chapter I move from the details of an ancient covenant into the modern setting in which we live. I do this by appealing to the lessons of the past and the organization of history by God as a teaching mechanism so that we might know Him better and understand what He is doing today. The heart of this chapter is a perspective of history aligned with the details of God's covenant with Abraham.
Chapter Eight: The Martyr and the Covenant, Part II
In this chapter I continue to ask how that ancient covenant applies to me in the twentieth century. I explain how God's focus on physical man has receded and how His focus on relational man has taken the front burner. My basic contention is that a vital relationship with God will sustain us in a generation where physical, emotional, and spiritual pain is our lot.