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 bondageand that includes freedom to sin. Now that I have your attention
The subject of Steve Browns book is freedomand why were not free. He writes, If Jesus says were 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 Ive lived long enough to write a book like this oneand also to serve as the negative illustrations of most of the principles taught herein.
Among the books main points, Christians fall into the pattern of viewing the world in terms of us and themus 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 usthe 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 Gods job, not mine. To sum up the basics, freedom is accepting Gods 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 authors message to their own lives. The book deals mostly with the whys 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 authors most shocking message is that in our attempts to be evangelists for God, we often make people run in the opposite directionand 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