A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel
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Simon & Schuster / 2004 / Paperback

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A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel

Simon & Schuster / 2004 / Paperback

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CBD Stock No: WW293929

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Product Description

God has set us free - and at great cost - but many Christians live in self-imposed bondage. Rather than delighting in God's lavish grace, they are fearful of igniting his displeasure. As author Steve Brown explains in this brave, new book, too many Christians don't trust freedom - for themselves or others. They prefer the security of man-made regulations to the adventure of freedom. The implications of freedom, Brown asserts, can sometimes be dangerous, but the alternative is deadly: a life without joy and void of celebration of our unique gifts in Christ. Each riveting chapter explores a common freedom-stifling tendency, then opens the door to the fresh air or remedial liberty. Dare to explore the joys of biblical freedom. Open the pages of this book and begin a journey that will set you free - really and truly and completely free.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2004
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 1582293929
ISBN-13: 9781582293929

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Publisher's Description

Christians do not trust freedom. As author Steve Brown explains in this brave new book, they prefer the security of rules and self-imposed boundaries, which they tend to inflict on other Christians. Brown asserts that real freedom means the freedom to be wrong as well as right. Christianity often calls us to live beyond the boundaries, bolstered by the assurance that we cannot fall beyond God's love. Freedom is dangerous, but the alternative is worse -- boxing ourselves up where we cannot celebrate our unique gifts and express our joy in Christ. Each of the book's eleven chapters explores a common pharisaic, freedom-stifling tendency, then opens the door to the fresh air of a remedial liberty. A reader's delight, A Scandalous Freedom sometimes shocks with challenges to prevailing wisdom, but it follows up with compelling validations of our need to celebrate real, unstinted freedom in Christ.

Author Bio

Dr. Steve Brown is a broadcaster, seminary professor, author, and founder and president of Key Life Network.  He previously served as a pastor for over twenty-five years and now devotes much of his time to the radio broadcasts, Key Life and Steve Brown Etc. Dr. Brown serves as Professor Emeritus of Preaching at Reformed Theological Seminary teaching at the campuses in Atlanta, Orlando and Washington, D.C. He sits on the board of the National Religious Broadcasters and Harvest USA. Steve is the author of numerous books, and his articles appear in such magazines and journals as Christianity Today, Leadership, Relevant, Leadership, Decision, Plain Truth and Today's Christian Woman. Traveling extensively, he is a much-in-demand speaker. Steve and his wife Anna have two daughters and three granddaughters.

Library Journal

Brown's message is bold and emphatic: the gospel is a message of freedom that reverberates in various facets of human life. Yet far too many Christians live under a burden of guilt, fear, and religious bondage. Brown, who is a radio broadcaster and seminary professor, focuses directly on presenting this message of freedom in its multidimensional aspects so that others might discover the liberating experience of the gospel. Examples of chapter titles, e.g., "The Freedom We Surrender...and the Heritage That Sets Us Free," give an indication of how the book proceeds. Brown writes in an appealing style that includes numerous illustrations to accentuate his points. His book covers a needed area in the literature. Recommended for academic libraries. John Jaeger, Dallas Baptist Univ. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Publisher's Weekly

The best radio-show hosts speak not to a group of people but to individuals-listeners feel the show is just for them. Brown (Born Free), a Presbyterian seminary professor, former pastor and host of the Key Life radio program, uses that approach to fine effect as he encourages Christians to celebrate their absolute freedom. Conversational, lighthearted and full of funny lines (and a few urban legends presented as fact), Brown's writing nevertheless conveys deep truth: believers too often stagger beneath a burden of behavior forced on them by other Christians, a standard that God does not require. "I fear too often the church has become an organization of guilty people with a guilty preacher standing in the pulpit, telling guilty people that they should feel guiltier," he writes. The oppressed and their oppressors miss the power of authenticity, especially the freedom to fail, the joy of God's complete forgiveness and the boldness it brings. God's liberty also lets Christians embrace those with whom they disagree. Brown illustrates the point in one of his best anecdotes, recalling his relationship with Tony Campolo. Brown's honesty about his own failings drives his points home. This book has the power to help Christian believers who have been struggling to march in a straight line to leap up and dance. (July 6) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.


Shocking? Yes. To the point of cardiac arrest? For some. Steve Brown, a seminary professor, radio broadcaster, and author of A Scandalous Freedom suggests that Christians need a spiritual rewiring to break their bondage—and that includes freedom to sin. Now that I have your attention…
The subject of Steve Brown’s book is “freedom—and why we’re not free.” He writes, “If Jesus says we’re free, we ought to accept his declaration at face value and run with it.” Throughout 11 chapters, he explains, through anecdotes and Bible quotes, how Christians have lost their freedom and how it hinders them as Christians. The author, in his introduction, draws us into a fireside chat by adding one more credential for writing the book: “Well, I have sinned big enough, and I’ve lived long enough to write a book like this one—and also to serve as the negative illustrations of most of the principles taught herein.”
Among the book’s main points, Christians fall into the pattern of viewing the world in terms of “us” and “them”—“us” being the self-righteous who pretend they are perfect, and thus, have the authority to tell others how they should live so they can also be perfect. “They,” on the other hand, are those outside of “us”—the less than perfect, Christians or not. The obsession with perfectionism and living without sin actually keeps Christians from being Christian-like when they appear self-righteous, condemning, and bound by rules and regulations. And they become lonely. Says Brown, “If you demonize those people who disagree with you, you will end up being the only one left.” Later he says that making others better is God’s job, not mine. To sum up the basics, freedom is accepting God’s grace while working toward perfection, but knowing you, as well as others, will never reach it.
The anecdotes used throughout the book, like the parables Jesus used to teach, help readers relate the author’s message to their own lives. The book deals mostly with the why’s regarding loss of freedom, and at times rambles without making concise points on how to change. I would have liked to have read a final chapter that actually gave specific steps and suggestions on how Christians can become free -- free to follow them or not, of course. Another book, perhaps? Nevertheless, pastors or priests or anyone involved in Christian ministry, as well as Christians in general will find the book provides some provocative insights. The author’s most shocking message is that in our attempts to be evangelists for God, we often make people run in the opposite direction—and therein lies the danger. So, how can we afford not to read A Scandalous Freedom to check our own spiritual wiring? -- Karen Thurber, Christian Book Previews.com

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
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  1. Lynn Boone
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    November 18, 2008
    Lynn Boone
    This is a great book. Helps you to remember that you are free in Christ. We, or I tend to get wrapped up in the things of this world and forget. This book seems to reinforce the freedom that we have.
  2. Steve Lee, Sr.
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 9, 2006
    Steve Lee, Sr.
    This book was profoundly disturbing to me. Not because of the subject matter. Steve Brown often speaks and writes about Christian freedom. But never before have I heard him admit to being a stinking Republican. Okay to be honest, I added the "stinking" adjective.I have read several of Brown's previous books and consider them to be outstanding resources for living the life God wants me to live. This book is no exception. I have to ask however, was it really necessary to make such a confession? How can I recover from such disconcerting news?Brown recounts for us in this book, the moment when he admitted to his fellow seminary students that he was a conservative. His decription is so vivid that I can actually imagine their horror.One of many valid points that Brown makes is that we do harm to ourselves and a great disservice when we marginalize, catagorize and avoid those whose views differ from our own. He encourages us to participate in open, honest dialogue with these... people. This is easier said than done owing to the passion with which we hold these views.He does more than simply offer platitudes about how we should live. He actually practices what he preaches. He counts among his friends, Tony Campolo and Ann Lamott, two wonderful Democrats. If I someday get to meet Brown, I hope he will count me among his friends as well. I consider him to be a man of God and an excellent teacher. I mean, you gotta love the guy. Something must just happen to his mind when he walks into a voting booth.I give this book 5 stars because it speaks to a truth that is often ignored and seldom taught. Christ has made us free, but we usually don't live like it.I've really covered just a small part of the book. Brown writes very little about politics, but I was so stunned, that I was distracted from writing about anything else.With his admission of conservative tendencies, Brown has helped me avoid one of the pitfalls he cites in chapter six, Hero Worship.
  3. Don Gaut
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 1, 2006
    Don Gaut
    Steve Brown is honest, interesting, fun and Biblical. Steve's message in this book is to be free. Jesus said, "The truth will set you free." and when we stop pretending we are perfect and admit to God, ourselves and the people around us that we struggle with sin, the shakles fall away. God wants us to be honest and He forgives us, loves us and uses us in spite of our sin. The sins of Moses, Abraham, David, Peter and others God used in powerful ways, are clearly shown to us in God's Word.Steve shows us many of the self-imposed shakles todays Christians are held by and encourages us to be free of them by the grace of God. This book will help you understand the message of the Gospel so that you can be free in Christ! Please read it and pass it on to someone you love!
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