Sometimes we hear a word from the pulpit that sounds so good but is, oh, so wrong.
Steve says he knows about these lies because he used to preach them himself. That was before he truly understood grace. His desire is, "...that all of us would embrace and express the true grace of God." (8)
Lie #1 Salvation is giving your life to Christ. No, says Steve. "Grace revolves around what He has given us, not what we give to Him!" (9) "Salvation is God's work. Our response to Him is because He initiated the whole thing." (10,11)
Other lies include, the abundant life, rededication, how to rightly pray for unbelievers, being out of fellowship with God when we sin, finding God's will for your life, revival, being depressed, Lordship salvation, being disqualified by sin, positional righteousness, and being blessed because you tithe, to name a few.
I really appreciated his comments on the proper rules of biblical interpretation. Some claim that the hearts of all people are evil, even Christians, citing Jeremiah 17:9. Steve notes that this is from the Old Testament. "While the whole Bible is written for us and is profitable for our study, not every word can be accurately applied to new covenant believers." (158)
Elsewhere he writes about the sayings of Jesus. "Not everything Jesus said it to be applied to you personally. That's because everything changed at the cross." (192)
One of the lies in this book is that God will not forgive you if you don't forgive others (based on Matt. 6:14,15). Steve writes, "The idea that if you don't forgive others God won't forgive you is an old covenant teaching, even though we hear it from the lips of Jesus." (195)
I like what Steve says. He has certainly stimulated my theological thinking. In my view, he is pretty much right on! I would encourage you to read this book and compare what you've heard from the pulpit with what the Bible really says.
Be sure that this book will offend many people who have long held beliefs that are not fully biblical. This book has changes my thinking about myself and my relationship to others based on scriptures and the context in which they were as presented by the author. Many Christians are stuck in an Old Testament mind set where our relationship with God is based on what we try to do for Him (and always fail!). One of the book's main premiss is to get us into a New Covenant mindset with a focus on the Grace of God based on the Blood of Jesus Christ shed for us that 'cleanses us from all unrighteousness,' and away from the legalism of the Old Testament which is a curse and that we have been set free from. This book will help you to see yourself and others through the eyes of God's wonderful grace and is backed up by God's Holy word and an understanding of when it was written, and how it applies to us today. This is the best book I have read this year.
I recently completed a six month Bible study in which we examined this book against God's Word in a search of uninhibited truth devoid of church doctrine and rich in Biblical doctrine. The verdict of the 25 people in my group? This book is bang on! It was an incredible learning experience.
For those who think this book is deception, I would encourage you to set aside what you believe to be true based on what others have told you and do an open and honest personal search for truth. You may be surprised at the outcome.