Bound Together: How We Are Tied to Others in Good and Bad Choices
We are bound to Jesus!
Why did I choose this book:
This book immediately caught my eye from the Book Sneeze options. Over the past couple years, I have learned so much about the spiritual soul ties between people, and I am ever eager to learn more about it. I am also learning and experiencing the joy of community, and was interested in learning more about how the greater community (beyond family and close friends) is connected.
- Brauns' analogy is fairly simple. The Ã¢ÂÂprinciple of the ropeÃ¢ÂÂ is that we are all connected, for better or worse, and even though we may believe we act Ã¢ÂÂautonomously,Ã¢ÂÂ we have an impact on the community around us. Brauns provides scripture references and discussion to establish this principle, which shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt be hard for us to buy if we already believe that Christ created us for community.
- Brauns explains the impact of Ã¢ÂÂthe original sinÃ¢ÂÂ and shows how JesusÃ¢ÂÂ work on the cross basically trumps any effect from the original sin or from any connection to people making bad choices, or to our own past sins.
- Brauns backs everything up with scripture.
- Brauns has different styles of writing within the book; sometimes he is conversational and personal with his readers and sometimes he is technical and literary Ã¢ÂÂ both of which I felt came across like trying a little too hard. I better enjoyed the bulk of the book where his writing style was more natural.
- I commend Brauns for this book because it goes against the grain. Contemporary culture doesnÃ¢ÂÂt exactly want to face the truth of our interconnectedness. We would rather believe we are independent and autonomous. Brauns explains that the rope is what allows us to uncover our true humanity living in solidarity.
- The Bible commands us to be joyful, and Brauns illustrates how joy is found in fellowship. This particular point made me consider social media; when used for good, it facilitates fellowship and can indeed bring joy and connection.
- Brauns also does a good job of discussing the principle of the rope in marriage and hurting families, and assures us that through our connection to the Church (meaning the whole community of believers) we are adopted into a new family and can rest in a new identity in Christ.
- Throughout the book, Brauns nicely summarizes and reiterates important points, and gives a great summary at the end.
Though I found some of the book repetitive, it bears repeating as long as it takes for us to get it! No one need be trapped by the sins of their forefathers or their own sins, or anything in our community and culture around us. We can all experience true freedom in Christ. Brauns has much more to say, so I recommend you just go out and get the book and read it!
July 21, 2013
Original sin and union with Christ
Chris Brauns has provided a book that is very clearly written and well done. The author mentions the need for a clearly written and compelling description of the biblical doctrines of original sin and spiritual union with Christ. I believe he has done so here.
The author's task was daunting. We live in a culture which rebels against the very ideas about which he writes. The idea of experiencing negative consequences as a result of someone else's wrong decision making is frustrating for all of us. Yet, our reality is clear according to Scripture. We have inherited sin from Adam. The author discusses Ã¢ÂÂfederal headshipÃ¢ÂÂ and Ã¢ÂÂnatural headshipÃ¢ÂÂ (or seminal headship) and states that he sees both as being options for understanding how sin is passed on to the rest of mankind. It appears that his argumentation in the initial stages of the book appear to lean heavily toward Ã¢ÂÂfederal headship.Ã¢ÂÂ Regardless, the explanations and biblical evidence given are solid. The decisions of others effect us, negatively and positively. In the grand scheme of things, Adam's sin has been passed down to us. But, even on a smaller scale, we are interrelated as human beings and the decisions of others truly effect us. We are not islands unto ourselves.
As Brauns moved on to speak of the gospel and union with Christ, I think that he did a fine job of explaining the results of these spiritual realities from Scripture. Those who have repented of their sin and placed their trust in the gospel have been united spiritually with Jesus Christ. It is a vital union which effects all areas of our lives. I appreciated the authors emphasis on our union with Christ severing our union with Adam (our union with sin). It highlights our new nature, being a new creation in Christ. He also emphasizes our union with Christ being superior and more powerful than union with Adam.
On the level of application, the author does very well in transitioning from the theological truth of union with Christ, to how marriage, family, and church family are effected by union with Christ. I have to admit that one statement made by the author was a little troubling to me. He said, Ã¢ÂÂOne spouse may be so infected with sin that divorce is necessary, but it must only be done as a last resortÃ¢ÂÂ (p.116). I know that there are situations that arise in marriage, which are not directly addressed in Scripture Ã¢ÂÂ physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, and the list of sinful behavior could go on and on. Yes, the Bible states that the only legitimate reasons for divorce are adultery (Matt. 5:31-32; 19:8-9), and when a believer is abandoned by an unbelieving spouse (1 Corinthians 7:10-16). There are unbelievable acts of wickedness committed each day by spouses against one another, but I think we should be cautious to open the door for divorce wider than Scripture does.
On the whole I do recommend this book and I think it is a helpful read. I think that it is especially beneficial for someone who has not, nor is able to pursue formal theological education. I think it is helpful for someone, who otherwise would not study something as important as Original Sin and union with Christ, To be able to read a clear and concise treatment of such important biblical truths.
I received this book from Booksneeze as a part of their blogger review program in exchange for an unbiased review of this present work.
May 17, 2013
Deep and thought provoking
Our choices, both good and bad, affect others, not just ourselves. Brauns writes a well researched and in-depth book on how our lives are woven together. The first, and worst, example of this is in the fall of Adam. The last, and best, example of this is through Christ's death which saves us all. We are bound to Adam and his sin in a negative way but bound to Christ in a positive way. He saved us.
Not to make myself appear stupid but this book was written in higher language that I am used to reading. After reading so many YA books, the technical nature of this one took some getting used to. It felt a bit like reading a really long term paper. Complete with references at the back. I was pulled into his writing and argument that we are all bound together. It did seem somewhat redundant and seemed to be written more for the theological minded over the "common man" but that might have just been me.
It was separated into two sections. The first section explains the idea of the rope. The second section shows how we can and should apply it to our lives.
He uses numerous examples in the Bible and in history to show how a choice made affects not only the person making the choice but also those around him.
He tells how marriage is such a powerful illustration of the rope principle and likens divorce to an amputation. Two people were made one. One cannot go back to two without tearing. Because of this, he shows the importance of understanding how our choices affect others.
It all boils down to the blessing of God's love is greater than the curse of sin.
If you are looking for a well thought out book about original sin and God's grace through Jesus to save us from it, Brauns does an excellent job of laying the background and then showing an application of those truths. Although our ties to Adam doomed us, our ties to Jesus saves us.
I was given this title in exchange for an honest review.
April 23, 2013
I hesitate to tell you that this book tackles with verve the theological ideas of original sin and union with Christ. I can hear the groansÃ¢ÂÂanother theology tome. Please reroute your thinking as this volume is so much more than academic exercise. In Bound Together by Chris Brauns and published by Zondervan we have so much more!
ThereÃ¢ÂÂs real life questions here. In discussing how we are tied to others in both good and horrifying ways, we find the questions tough. We all know on some level, and are actually glad about it, that blessing have come our way over the choices of some. But when someoneÃ¢ÂÂs choice rips our family down the middle, or the choice of a leader lands the whole nation in peril, well, that is another matter. The deeper question is why the Lord designed our world so. Like it our not, He did.
Mr. Brauns uses the analogy of the rope. We are tied together. In some ways if one goes over the cliff, we all will. While that is not true on some levels (personal accountability), it definitely is on others. He shows that what happened to us when Adam fell demonstrates this very thing. Before we sink in despair, we should see the upside of the rope. CHRIST!
We are now tied to Him and as he triumphs over sin He literally pulls us up out of or own sin. You see, the rope rescued us. If you could remove the rope from GodÃ¢ÂÂs Universe, you would do yourself far more harm than good. So we praise Him for the rope even if on occasion it appears unfair. He also explains that the new rope in Christ is far stronger than our old rope tied to Adam.
No, he explains, this doesnÃ¢ÂÂt extinguish personal responsibility. I canÃ¢ÂÂt just blame the rope, but I can trace how my choices have the potential to pull up or down. In his one chapter on marriage you see how the home might be the greatest length of the rope. Any idea that I am just my own person and can do as I please is absurd. There are too many hurting children in our world, for example, for this to be true.
He offers hope to hurting families too. He uses Rahab as an illustration. The robe can be used by me for good. She made a daring decision and her entire family was spared. This may not always work out so, but at least it is a shot.
In the latter parts of the book he explains how something so valued in our culture, and truly good on some levels, could be the very thing that is destroying us. That thing is individualism.
He pulls off the theology too. By the bookÃ¢ÂÂs end you will add to your obvious knowledge that your personal sin affects you and others the truth that original sin affects you too. That affect is only overcome through Jesus Christ. This is a great book.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255.
April 21, 2013