Book Review: A Good Old Age

A Good Old Age Book Review Derek Prime

A couple of friends, clocking this book either lying around the house or on my ‘to read’ pile, have wondered why on earth I’d read a book about ‘A Good Old Age’. The primary reason is the work and prayer I do with and for Pilgrims’ Friend Society as a Trustee, but I was also interested to get into the mind and concerns of older Christians. I found this book to be a positive reading experience – nicely designed, simply laid out, deeply biblical and illuminating of both issues facing older people and the timelessness of the wisdom of Gods word. 

As the subtitle ‘an A to Z of loving and following the lord Jesus in later years’ alludes, this is a book divided up into 26 (relatively short, but meaty) chapters. Covering a wide range of topics and drawing deeply on the full canon of scripture throughout, this is a book that could be read in one long sitting or, as the author suggests, in smaller chunks. In terms of the timeless wisdom of scripture, I personally found the chapters on Contentment, Encouragement, Hope, Meditation and Zeal particularly helpful. Each chapter ends with a written prayer to use – and often there are hymns or poems scattered throughout as an aid to understanding. 

Written by s former pastor in his eighties, this is unashamedly a book by an older person for older people. Derek Prime is well aware of stereotypes and easy traps for the elderly – and he writes with knowing wit and a conviction that old age can perhaps be the most fruitful and god-honoring part of our earthly lives. As a younger person who cares about the all age nature of the church, I found this book challenging both in terms of recognizing and being reminded of the daily struggles of aging, and inspirational in the way that the author has plenty to teach all younger Christians about following Jesus wholeheartedly. 

Overall, then, whilst not a normal book for my reading demographic, I was very glad to have read A Good Old Age. Whether it was the particular challenge and encouragement from the timeless wisdom of scripture, or the insight into the struggles and opportunities of aging, this is a helpful book. Certainly this would be a welcome addition to the pastoral arsenal as churches get older alongside the population. I might be wary of giving this book to an older brother or sister unsolicited, but as a book for a purpose, this is a very good one in This readers opinion. 

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