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One Precious Pearl: God's Design for His Church

Robert Lloyd Russell (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-6232-X ©2010
Price: $14.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 138 pages
Category/Subject: RELIGION / General

One Precious Pearl provides a clear interpretation of one of the least understood and rarely taught New Testament parables, followed by fascinating analogies which teach profound truth in simple language.

Fascinating analogies teach profound truth in simple language. Written in short easily digestible segments, it is ideal reading for the person on the go. After reading this book, the reader will never look at a pearl or the church in quite the same way.

ONE PRECIOUS PEARL has been honored in the following ways:
(1) BOOK OF THE YEAR – “Religion: Eastern/Western” awarded by Reader Views; Reviewers Choice Award (USA).
(2) RUNNER-UP – “Religion: Christianity” awarded by International Book Awards.
(3) WINNER – “Book: Biblical Studies” awarded by The Word Guild; Canadian Writing Awards.
(4) FINALIST - "Religion: Christianity" awarded by The USA Best Books Awards.
(5) GOLD - "Literary Excellence" awarded by The World Book Awards.

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Customer Reviews

  One Precious Pearl , 11/11/2010
Reviewer: Butch
This is a fascinating can't-put-down Biblical study. A great read. Short chapters works well when on the go. Deep thinking results from a little contemplation of the author's words.

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  The pearl is the only gem... , 12/15/2010
Reviewer: The US Review of Books
"'The pearl is the only gem that is perfect without additional work by man.' Discover what the precious pearl is." In One Precious Pearl the author clearly demonstrates that, though Biblical principles are simple, they are not simplistic. Anyone can understand the concept of a man seeking pearls and finding one so precious that he sells everything he has to buy it. But, I believe, it is God's desire that we delve into His word in order to go beyond the obvious so that we can know Him better. The author presents several versions of what the pearl represents. Is it Salvation? Is it the Kingdom of Heaven? Or is it the Church, the body of believers in Christ? Digging more deeply into the content and context of the parable of the precious pearl reveals the many layers that lie beneath the apparent interpretation. Too often religious leaders are willing to accept doctrine based on phrases in the Bible that are not only out of context but also fail to consider the constancy of God's character. This has lead to the formation of many denominations as well as many false sects that attract CINO's, Christians in name only. Just as cultured pearls mimic natural pearls and can mislead even the most accomplished gemologists, so false teachings mislead many who consider themselves to be Biblical scholars. Russell is an accomplished writer who has taken some difficult concepts and presented them in an informative and interesting way. Whether you are a believer or a seeker, you'll never look at a pearl the same way after reading One Precious Pearl.

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  Reviews, by Readers, for Readers , 12/20/2010
Reviewer: Reader Views
One Precious Pearl: God’s Design for His Church Robert Lloyd Russell Infinity Publishing (2010) ISBN 9780741462329 Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (Dec. 2010) Robert Lloyd Russell draws from the lessons and insights he has gleaned from his forty years in Christian Leadership and Bible Teaching. "One Precious Pearl" guides the reader into a deeper understanding of God’s Design for His Church. It is Russell’s prayer that the reader will personally recognize Christ’s sacrificial gift for their individual salvation as well as the importance of becoming a part of the true church. Russell demystifies the content of the seven parables from Jesus’ teaching in Matthew chapter thirteen. The book is divided into two parts made up of short chapters to accommodate the pace of today’s busy reader. Each of the twenty-two chapters can be read as a devotional, as the basis for a foundation for discussion, or as an adult Bible lesson for small groups. Part One is a commentary on the thirteenth chapter of Matthew. Part Two is made up of “Lessons from the One Precious Pearl” and contains some interesting analogies. Russell combines natural science with Biblical truth to provide an in depth study. The Key Concepts and questions for consideration, at the end of each chapter, are ideal for further meditation, application, and assimilation. I found the evaluations, summaries, and commentary used throughout the format of the book to be stimulating, practical, and well thought out. I found the epilogue with thoughts for contemplation on the symbolism of the gifts of the Wise Men interesting and informative. The Gospel message included as an appendix was clear and persuasive. "One Precious Pearl: God’s Design for His Church" is inspiration devotional reading made up of changeless truths presented from a contemporary perspective. This book is highly recommended.

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  One Precious Pearl , 01/08/2011
Reviewer: Kirkus Reviews (Discoveries)
An in-depth exploration of one famous passage. Though most Christians have a passing familiarity with Matthew 13:45-46, regarding a pearl of great price or great value (translations vary), few have considered these two verses with as much depth and curiosity as have Russell. In this book, Russell explores the passage from every possible angle and includes varying evangelical interpretations. Structured with short chapters, “Key Concept” summaries and questions for discussion, Russell’s book can easily serve as a source for personal or group study. He begins by discussing the passage in its immediate context, as one of seven parables in the 13th chapter of Matthew. Russell then goes on to describe three differing interpretations of the parable that have been raised by past theologians. In his view, the pearl represents either the kingdom of heaven or the church, and in both cases most lessons from the parable apply equally. The merchant in the parable most likely represents Jesus Christ, “the Son of Man, Israel’s Kinsman-Redeemer.” Moving forward, Russell lists seven ways in which a pearl is a unique gem, all of which make it analogous to the church or the kingdom of God. For instance, it is formed in suffering, its spherical shape represents unity and it is the one gem that is most valuable if humans have not interfered with its shape or condition. Not stopping there, Russell also provides eight significant aspects of the pearl. These include its cost, symbolism, growth, history, appearance and hidden nature. A problem brought up in the text that is never fully resolved is the fact that pearls were not especially valued by Jews, and in fact came from a treif source, oysters. This presents a striking paradox coming from a Jewish source. Russell has structured a meaningful study for the layperson and a useful go-to resource for preachers. Without delving into an extensive exploration of the original Greek, Russell makes about as thorough a study of the passage as one could expect. Worthwhile resource on the pearl of great price.

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  A Pearl of a Parable Study , 01/10/2011
Reviewer: Benjamin Potter
A pleasant Bible study on a little addressed parable. Robert Russell is a Bible teacher and management consultant who takes his study of the Scriptures seriously. He has written other articles and books including a previous volume in this study series, and has edited a collection of the words of Missionary/Martyr Jim Elliot. One Precious Pearl: God’s Design for His Church studies the parable known as the Pearl of Great Price found in Matthew 13. The author acknowledges that this particular parable has often been neglected in favor of other parables surrounding it, but insists that this simple parable is one that holds an ocean of wisdom for the church. Dividing the study into two sections, Russell presents background to the parables of Matthew 13, and then draws some lessons from the Pearl of Great Value. One conclusion that is not necessarily part of the main-stream of thought, but bears credence since this is a lesser-dealt-with parable, is the idea that the Pearl is a reference to the Church (rather than the popular Kingdom; or the less than likely Salvation). In part II of the book, Russell compares the Church to a valuable pearl at length, and brings a new light—might I say, a new luster—to the images Jesus is presenting. The chapters are kept short (between two to five pages in length) for easy access to the material. Even slow readers like Yours Truly can finish the entire book in a relatively short time. Such arrangement of the chapters makes the book ideal for devotional reading or for personal or small group study. The ideal audience for this book (and its companions in the Christian Concepts Series, one would assume) are Bible teachers, preachers, and students of the Scripture who are interested in learning more about specific passages. This book will find a worthy spot among my study materials and I’ll have another excellent resource the next time I’m preparing a study or sermon from Matthew 13. And you can, too. —Benjamin Potter, December 30, 2010

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  One Precious Pearl , 01/11/2011
Reviewer: Rev. Colin (Wales)
I'm currently reading One Precious Pearl, subtitled 'God's Design for His Church', written by Robert Lloyd Russell. This book deals with the parable found in the Bible in the book of Matthew, chapter 13, of which the 'Parable of the Pearl of Great Price' is one of a group of seven. Expertly written by a man with over forty years of experience as a popular Bible teacher, this is a book which guides you through the background and interpretation of the parable, concluding each chapter with the instruction to 'Think and Grow'. Russell leads you through and stays with you throughout the book, ready to explain and point you towards the answers to your questioning and seeking mind. I quote Ronald Barclay Allen, Senior Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary, who is quoted on the back cover as follows: 'Throughout this study there is a development of analogical thought, where the latent imagery of the pearl is made clear for the modern reader. Mr Russell's content is superior throughout. He has drawn on natural science and Biblical thought without violating either. I have learned a great deal about the concept of a pearl and have appreciated more the concept of the Church as the Pearl of Christ.' This is a book which feeds the seeking and open mind, and which opens the closed heart, to Biblical truth which is as encouraging as it is enlightening, and which I can thoroughly recommend to all seekers of the timeless truths of the Bible. - Rev. Colin (Wales), 4 January 2011

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  AfterWord Marketing Group , 06/26/2011
Reviewer: Robert Lloyd Russell
Robert Lloyd Russell’s One Precious Pearl: God’s Design for His Church is a fusion of biblical scripture and natural science. The book is an interpretation of the parable of Matthew 13:45-46: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he had found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had, and bought it.” One Precious Pearl is divided into two parts: scripture-based and lesson-based material. Essentially, Russell’s purpose in writing this book is two-fold. For those who are believers in the kingdom of heaven, the book strives to instill a deeper appreciation for the Church. The second purpose is to “demystify a passage” that is too often misinterpreted. Ultimately, One Precious Pearl: God’s Design for His Church is designed to be an enlightening experience for one and all. Throughout the ages, even in modern times, the pearl is a symbol of elegance and value. In fact, “historically pearls were only possessed by kings and monarchs. The one precious pearl—the finest of all pearls—belongs to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” Essentially, various interpretations conclude that the pearl could be a symbol of salvation, the kingdom of heaven, or the Church on earth. In practical terms, the growth of a pearl is likened to the growth of the Church. The one precious pearl represents the unity within the Church of Jesus Christ. The bottom line is that, on earth, the pearl is the Church because it will nurture the one precious thing that every man needs: acceptance of Christ. Ultimately, “the pearl is the only gem that is perfect without additional work by man. Provision for the Church was complete with Christ’s death on the Cross. Man cannot improve upon either a pearl or the Church.” Therefore, the pearl is a representation of all that is pure and perfect, like the great white throne of God. Overall, Robert Lloyd Russell’s One Precious Pearl: God’s Design for His Church is a simple, yet profound read for any age. Also, Russell inserts a “Think and Grow” section that discusses the key concepts of the lesson. One Precious Pearl belongs in Sunday school, Bible Study classes, and many other church settings. It’s a must read for Christians everywhere. Book Review: ONE PRECIOUS PEARL Author: Robert Lloyd Russell Reviewer: Tom Rutherford, the AfterWord Group February 2011

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