Ian Leitch is an evangelist from Scotland who has ministered extensively in the UK and the US. His book, Life Before Death, takes the reader from pre-conversion to mature discipleship in a clear, readable and engaging manner. The book is loaded with stories and illustrations that aid in understanding his points. Leitch writes in a folksy style that might be winsome to some and irritating to others (place me in the middle), but gives the reader the impression that he is a likeable Christian who is passionate about what he believes.
Leitch has been heavily influenced by the Keswick Higher Life Movement (pp. XXI, 34, 118, 129). While most of the book is straight, clear biblical teaching on conversion and spiritual growth, Keswick theology shows up on occasion in out of balanced statements such as, “For years I was told that I had to live for Jesus. That’s wrong: He rose from the dead to live for me!” (p. 34)…and those who do not let Christ live His life through them are carnal Christians (pp. 118-123). The Higher Life teachings of “Let Go and Let God” do not hold up in a balanced study of Scripture. However, this is a small part of Leitch’s book and unless the reader is aware of the discussion it would go unnoticed. Leitch also leans on the discarded psychological theory of the four basic temperaments (see p. 90) which no one today, secular or Christian, accepts. More importantly, the four temperaments are not found in Scripture.
With these issues aside, overall Life Before Death is a helpful little volume on Christian living.
Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-teacher, Southern View Chapel