Helpful Book Reviews 04-13-13

Crucifying Morality: The Gospel of the Beatitudes by R.W. Glenn  - “Reducing the Christian faith to a lifestyle” — Independent Fundamentalist Baptists are perhaps most famous for this trait, but a number of other evangelical groups have this tendency as well. In our zeal for protecting children from the evils of this world, and in our desire to live holy lives we sometimes turn faith into a religion, and the gospel into a sub-culture replete with its own rules and customs. Nostalgia for the good old days when sinful lifestyles weren’t on full display in public, and a fondness for large families and wholesome fun — these can be good things, but they can also define us. The problem comes when our familiar way of life, holy as it may be, becomes what we live for and what is most important to us. It takes the place of the gospel and the role of Christian doctrine, and this lifestyle-orientation can keep our kids from true Christianity. But don’t hear just my word for it. – Bob Hayton

Humble Orthodoxy: Holding the Truth High Without Putting People Down by Josh Harris - Sound doctrine is vital. Godly example is essential. But they are not enough. Apart from humility of heart, we will be like the Pharisees and will use the truth as a stick to beat others over the head. And God will be dishonored in that. If we would honor God, we must represent truth humbly in our words, in our demeanor, and in our attitude. – Josh Harris

The Homosexual Debate and the Church Edited by David Longacre - Another excellent aspect of this book is the practical message it provides on how to interact with those who have fallen prey to the lie that homosexuality is a viable alternative and supported by Scripture, or at least the false idea that Scripture is silent on the issue. In the essay titled “Homosexuality: Balancing Truth and Mercy, John Freeman avers “Most people find it easier to speak the truth, and then run from any additional involvement. It is easier to tell someone they are wrong than to help them out of their error. This is not truly Biblical…we need to realize that God commands that we love this way. God does not call us to do the impossible. God only calls us to do things that He enables us to do.” So demonstrating mercy to those who are involved with promoting, supporting, or living out the gay agenda must go hand in hand with speaking the truth of God’s word. This does not mean the sinful lifestyle of homosexuality can be viewed as okay or allowable in God’s sight. The issue is speaking the truth in love allowing the power of God’s word to pierce the inward man with the light of truth. In this case, instead of walking about with signs that say “God hates homosexuals”, the proper approach is to sit down with the individual, listen to their position and then share with them what God says is the boundaries for proper sexual relationships. -

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