HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Jay Bowman: The Collected Works
Author: Warren and Paula Berkley, Editors
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016
Related website: http://www.CreateSpace.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Teens and adults
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Berkley, Warren and Paula, Editors. Jay Bowman: The Collected Works (published in 2016 by CreateSpace). John Thomas “Jay” Bowman was born on June 7, 1936, in Estelline, TX, to Clarence and Elsie Bowman and grew up in Morton, TX, with three brothers, Dee, Lowell, and Monte. He married Glenda Hargrove on July 24, 1966, in Tucumcari, NM, and they had one son, Philip. Jay graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM, with his undergraduate degree and received his Master’s degree from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, TX. In addition, he attended Lubbock Christian College (now University) in Lubbock, TX; Texas Tech also in Lubbock; and Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, TX. His first occupation was teaching, but eventually becoming a gospel preacher among Churches of Christ, he worked with congregations in Odessa, Corpus Christi, Abilene, Lubbock, and Midland, all in Texas.
While familiar with Jay’s brother Dee, also a gospel preacher, I had initially thought that I never met Jay. However, Jay spoke in January, 1988, at the Florida College lectures in Temple Terrace, FL, on the topic “The Rest That Remaineth.” We were there that year, so while I may not have formally been introduced to him, I did hear Jay speak on that occasion. Eventually, he came down with Parkinson’s disease, an affliction with which I am intimately familiar because I also have it, and passed away at the age of 78 on May 27, 2015, in Lubbock, TX. Preceded in death by his parents and brother Monte, Jay was survived by his wife; son; daughter-in-law Jennifer; grandson Alex; brothers Dee and Lowell and their spouses; and numerous nieces and nephews. The funeral was held on May 30, in the Abbey Chapel of Resthaven Funeral Home with Dee Bowman officiating and Nate Fritz assisting. Burial followed in Resthaven Memorial Park. Jay was a devoted father, husband, and grandfather, but above all else a Christian scholar and example to many.
Not long after Jay’s passing, several people quickly formed a team to collect his articles for publication, and Jay Bowman: The Collected Works, edited by Warren and Paula Berkley, was published in 2016. It consists mainly of articles that Jay wrote for church bulletins while laboring with the Westridge church in Odessa, TX (1970s), the North Park church in Abilene, TX (1980s), and the Kings Ridge church in Lubbock, TX (2000s). There are also several articles of Jay’s that appeared in Christianity Magazine, a tract of his on “Divorce and Remarriage” published by The Preceptor; a series of six articles on “Adultery” from The Gospel Anchor; and his Florida College lecture. The book contains a wealth of excellent Bible studies, original language insights, Biblical commentary, and devotional material. I greatly benefitted from reading it.