God Tirelessly Working for Humanity

GOD TIRELESSLY WORKING FOR HUMANITY

A Review of Rev. Mark J. Cares book: God The Ultimate Humanitarian

I learned of Pastor Cares through his very fine book on witnessing to Mormons, Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons, in the mid-1990’s.  It was my go-to book for Mormon witness because it did not center on debating Mormons on the fallacies of Joseph Smith, the alleged source of the Book of Mormon, etc.  Rather, it centered on how to communicate God’s love in Christ crucified for them.

Then years later when the Cross Defense program on apologetics began on Worldwide KFUO, I was looking for guests to interview and thought of Pastor Cares again.  I was perplexed that his name was not found on the LCMS directory, thinking that possibly he left or was removed.  Then, I discovered that he was never in the LCMS, but WELS.  He appeared on the Cross Defense show numerous times with fascinating, innovative advice on witnessing to God’s love in Christ to Mormons through his newly formed Truth In Love organization.  After my retirement, he kindly sent me this book to review and I gladly and highly recommend it.

The book is unique in several ways.  First, although it was primarily written as an outreach tool to Mormons, it also holds great value for the Christian who needs to be further grounded in God’s love for them in Christ.  Second, it focuses on the biblical viewpoint of God as humanitarian which is rarely if ever treated as such.  Third, it does all this in a nice format, 5” x 7” with only 153 pages organized into 20 chapters.

Cares argues that the Bible does, in fact, present the eternal God as the Ultimate Humanitarian: “Even though he is vastly superior to us, he tirelessly works for humanity from the moment of creation to the world’s last day.  Most importantly, he perfectly planned and executed the greatest humanitarian rescue mission of all time in the person of Jesus Christ.”[1] He then proceeds to unload this from twenty different perspectives of God’s continued care and gifts to humans from the beginning of creation to eternity plus a final chapter on this Ultimate Humanitarian giving us a perfect revelation of His humanitarian acts in Holy Scripture.  To hopefully whet your appetite for this fine little book, the rest of this review will highlight some of the excellent points offered therein.

In the very first chapter, the author focuses that from the very beginning the Creator God made humans at the very pinnacle and jewel of all of creation: made in the image of God, dominion over the rest of creation, the gift of marriage, and a perfect relationship with each other and with Him.  Cares ties it up so nicely: “When you stop and think about it, isn’t it comforting to have a God who is vastly superior to us?  A god we can understand; a god who is like us; or a god we can eventually become like—such a god is not impressive.  But a God who is truly one of a kind; who created the universe effortlessly out of nothing; who made it so complex that still today we regularly discover new wonders—this is an impressive God.  …  And we see he is a humanitarian.  We see that he loves to shower gifts on the human race.  God was a humanitarian from the beginning.  And he was just beginning.”[2]

In the face of the first human’s rebellion against Him, God remained ever the Humanitarian by gifting them with the promise of a Savior.  What would be of prime importance to Mormons either having left or considering leaving this cult is the chapters on The Temple and The Ultimate Prophet.  Each of them is handled articulately and succinctly pointing to Jesus, as the Lamb of God sacrificed to take away the sin of the world.  “His main goal was to teach them about his solution for sin.  He accomplished this brilliantly.  The heart and core of temple worship was blood—blood sacrifice by one to take away the guilt of another.  … Each sacrifice pointed ahead to Jesus.”[3]  “Since he is your living prophet, you don’t have to look for other prophets.  …  As prophet, priest, and king, Jesus is the epitome of the ultimate humanitarian.”[4]

One of the neat discoveries this reviewer had in reading this book was his analogy to a trend today of lack of stress on Christ’s living a perfect life for us.  In many cases, this “increases the danger of people thinking they have to contribute to their salvation.”[5]  The author shares a nice diagnostic test he uses to flush out if people understand that Jesus both lived and died for them.[6]

Check out this excellent little book for someone struggling with Mormonism and/or those who need a clear and concise aid to drilling down in Scripture to discover how The Ultimate Humanitarian Keeps on Giving to them.

 

[1] Mark J. Cares, God: The Ultimate Humanitarian, (Nampa, Idaho: Truth in Love Ministry), 2.

[2] Ibid., 8.

[3] Ibid., 41.

[4] Ibid., 50.

[5] Ibid., 63.

[6] Ibid., 60ff.

About Rev. Rodney Zwonitzer

he Rev. Rodney Zwonitzer graduated with a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Wyoming in 1971. From 1971 to 1975 he served as executive trainee for Westinghouse in Denver, CO. Then from 1975 to 1979 he was marketing director/administrator for Storage Technology Corporation of Louisville, Colorado. From 1979 to 1984 he was Product Marketing Manager for United Technologies/Mostek of Carrollton, Texas. Then another calling came into his life. After attending four years of seminary at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, he was called in 1988 to serve as Pastor of Peace and Trinity Lutheran Churches in Trail, British Columbia, Canada. He served there until he was called to be Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Dearborn, Michigan in 1991. In 2012 he was called to be Director of Broadcast Services for the LCMS. The Rev. Rod Zwonitzer is author of Testing the Claims of Church Growth (CPH, 2002). He is co-founder of the Peacemakers Dialogue Group, has served on the Board of Directors of LATINO (Lutheran Action Improving Native Spanish Outreach), is a co-founder of the Ephphatha Lutheran Mission Society, and has served as an adjunct professor at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne. Rev. Zwonitzer retired in 2015 and resides in Florida.

Comments

God Tirelessly Working for Humanity — 2 Comments

  1. I met Mark on a couple of occasions when he came to do workshops in Tucson and up in the mountains. His book on witnessing to Mormons was very helpful to me when I was a pastor in a Mormon-majority town. Thank you for your review of his latest book; I look forward to reading it.

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