What is the Crucifixion all about, why do prayers seem to go unanswered and what where God's intentions for the church are three of the questions the Rev. Dr. Henry G. Covert answers in his latest books.
Covert, a retired United Church of Christ pastor who lives in Spring Mills, said he wrote "The Crucifixion of Jesus," "Christian Beliefs and Prayers" and "The True Church of Jesus Christ"
to give people a better understanding of what Christianity is all about.
"The Crucifixion of Jesus," takes the reader on a journey from Genesis through th e Gospels, detailing Old Testament Scripture that predicts his death on the cross, Covert said. Referring to those Scriptures as Messianic, he said the first passage can be found in Genesis 3:15, an insight into the battle between good and evil.
Covert said theologians agree that the Scripture refers to Satan striking Christ through his death on the cross, but that God will overcome Satan.
He said the most profound Messianic passage on the Crucifixion can be found in Isaiah 53, written between 600 and 650 B.C. and that some Psalms also point to Christ's death.
Covert said in the book he brings the reasons why Christ was crucified "down to a level we can grasp."
The book teaches about the meaning of the elements of Holy Communion and why Christ said to observe it.
In "Christian Beliefs and Prayers," Covert writes about the essentials of Christianity and how the beliefs and approaches differ among Protestant churches as well as between Protestants and Catholics.
"I highlight the teachings of Jesus Christ and how they apply to everyday life," he said.
In the second part of the book, he addresses prayer.
He said Christians sometimes have unrealistic expectations. He said people will pray "in faith" for a loved one or friend to be healed of a life- threatening ailment, but the healing does not happen.
Covert said, "His [God's] will is not necessarily what we desire."
He said if it appears that someone is not going to be healed, then the prayers need to be changed to ask God for the person to accept the dying process and be given faith, peace and strength.
"The True Church of Jesus Christ" relates to the inner or spiritual life and challenges readers to consider what is the church and its mission.
"The gospel is for all people. By grace, God reaches down to us and we reach up to him by faith," Covert said.
He said people try to make an academic exercise out of it.
"We complicate everything," Covert said.
"The church is within us, it is not a building."
The book explains that all believers are "one in Christ" even though they may belong to different denominations.
"Christianity is all a matter of the heart," he said.
Covert earned his doctorate at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
The books are published through Lightning Source and Ingram and are available on several websites including amazon.com and bookfinder.com.