An Anchor for the Soul: Help for the Present, Hope for the Future
Ray Pritchard, president of Keep Believing Ministries (an Internet-based community that works with Christians in 220 countries), was a pastor for 26 years and has written 27 books. AN ANCHOR FOR THE SOUL was first released in 2000 and has sold over 500,000 copies. This new edition will reach as many, if not more, readers given its timeless message containing the "big questions which deserve real answers" content.
Pritchard begins the book with a story written by a prison inmate who traded his food tray for a type of jail currency (envelopes) and felt he got cheated when he received a copy of this book to read. The inmate never believed in God and was upset someone traded him a "religious book." But he read it cover to cover and proclaimed that the text answered every question he ever had about God. This incarcerated reader also concurred with Pritchard's principle, "Once you've hit rock bottom, you can only look up." So saying, he continues with enthusiasm, "The day I found God was 9/22/07. I think I'm going to have it tattooed on my arm."
With stories like these scattered throughout the text, people from all walks of life will find themselves generating interest and gaining momentum to keep reading, to keep persisting beyond long-held doubts about God and the mysterious ways He works amongst people. For a basic outline of the questions Pritchard addresses, here are general topics of interest:
- What is God like?
- How can I know Him?
- Am I really a sinner?
- How can my sins be forgiven?
- Who is Jesus, and what did He do?
- What does it mean to be a Christian?
- How can I find peace with God?
- How can I be sure I am going to heaven?
Each chapter offers a thorough discussion of these much pondered eternal questions by providing real people, real-life stories, biblical stories and supporting scriptures, and a short summation statement called "A Truth to Remember." Closing out every chapter is a Going Deeper section that make important statements, provides specific Bible verses for further study, and asks introspective questions to deliberate on.
One of the most helpful chapters is the final one, "First Steps in a New Direction," which supplies readers with the "basics" of new Christian discipleship. Pritchard offers a brief primer here on personal assurance; spiritual growth; the role of the church; spiritual disciplines; temptation and sin; a Christian's personal witness; attitudes; and God's plan for every Christian. Readers will value his simple and straightforward style as well as his heart for reaching individuals with the message of the Gospel. He writes with a clear pastoral perspective, and readers will find themselves feeling "safe" within its pages.