"Unashamed to Bear His Name" is not an over night read and if you are already familiar with R.T. Kendall and Dr. Michael Youssef, you're already familiar with the fact that they are pretty hard hitting with it comes with the Word and their preaching.
In this book, written to be an encouragement and a source of guidance, I found the words to be sobering, hard hitting,sometimes dry at points, and there are a few ties that one may find oneself questioning several points that Kendall makes, but its a book that is definitely to be written with care of how it lines up with scripture and at the same time, there are valid points that are shared, that will have one, rethinking about what it means to be a Christian.
Made up of 15 chapters, "Unashamed to Bear His Name" is not a light read and there are several times, that the reader, like myself, will find themselves, going back and having to read several parts of the book, to make sure that they are reading what the author is sharing, correctly.
There's a good presentation of the basic doctrines and stigmas that are associated with being a Christian, but for the "layman" I wonder if some of the information that is presented can be considered as too dry or maybe over the head, if they already didn't understand basic Christian doctrine.
On the other hand, for those who are familiar and remember basic doctrine, "Unashamed" presented a strong reminder and encouragement of what it means to be a Christian.
This is not a book to be approached light heartedly but its a weighty reading that will find the reader, upon completion, challenged in what they think it means to be a Christian.
As one hears from some of the news media and reports from missionaries from around the world, as well as watching the decline of our own country, R. T. Kendall, in his book, Unashamed to Bear His Name, deliberates on the stigmas of being a Christian in today's world. There are persecutions, beatings, death, ridicule, and offense from sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Dr. Kendall shares his own life history as a Christian that include the rebuffs and name-calling he himself has endured.
When one comes to Christ, we are to Ã¢â¬Ëcount the cost.' From reading Dr. Kendall's book, that includes the choice to embrace:
the shame of the Name of Jesus
being called names
being an offense to other people
standing up for the truths of the Bible despite rejection from others
enduring the Ã¢â¬Ënarrow-minded stigma' for believing Jesus to be the only way to heaven
belittling for our beliefs in the one true God and Creator
the ridicule of the Holy Spirit's move in one's life
quiet loss of respect
plus several other issues
Dr. Kendall insists that these issues and stigmas are not anything to back away from. In fact, we are to embrace these issues to the glory of God without grumbling and complaining. He does stress the issue, however, that we shouldn't be the cause of unnecessary scandal by our lifestyle, thus suffering for the wrong reasons.
Dr. Kendall gives you multiple, insightful teachings to chew on in regards to the above issues mentioned in his book and how we are to embrace them. Though I don't agree with all his doctrine and some of his church-bashing, I found his book to be a great reminder of Ã¢â¬Ëcounting the cost' and the glory we will receive if we hold fast to the truth. We are to live in joy despite the trials we face.
As in the words of Colin Dye, Dr. Kendall's book presents "Sobering words you will thank God for." And then Dr. Michael Youssef's comment, "A book that every serious Christian must read."
This book was provided by Jim Hart of Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was received for my opinion.
We have here a tale of two books-it was the best of times and it was the worst of times! The first book is quite a read as it highlights the very scriptural idea that Christians are called upon to bear reproach for the Name. That Name is the name that moves the heart of every believer-Jesus. A Christian should expect and gladly bear any shame the world hurls at us for that Name. He defines using the words "stigma" and "scandal."
He well explains that it is a privilege to bear this stigma as well as highlights the foolishness of being consumed with what others say. This is not so difficult a cross to bear. Why would followers of Jesus care what His enemies say?
Then he weaves his theses into the Gospel itself. Or perhaps we could say the practical side of bearing shame for Christ is upholding the truths of His Gospel. To say a positive word for Christ may get you in trouble, but saying that we are sinners in need of Christ will really get you in trouble. Mr. Kendall did a piece of work in defending this.
He further showed how Bible characters across the Scriptures suffered this reproach, and many of them did it gladly and reaped obvious benefits. He follows this with defining what is bearing shame and is not bearing shame. The question is broached by what would he be willing to go to the stake for. That will put it in perspective quickly. I agree that Christ and the salvation He provides pretty much exhausts the list. Finally he vividly shows that needing vindication here in this life is a fault. His quoting of the song "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" tells the whole tale. Read it-you'll see.
Now there's the second book. He disintegrates into comparing his getting entangled in charismatic doctrine as this same idea. I could in no way see the connection. When his friends turned against that direction in his ministry, he feels like he is bearing shame for the doctrine of the Spirit. The book is still a worthy read though you may not need to read it to the end. You won't need me to tell you when the book changes completely.
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 Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
Prior to reading Unashamed To Bear His Name; Embracing The Stigma of Being a Christian, I had never heard of former pastor and author R.T. Kendall. The premise of his new book is to better understand the stigma and shame that comes from being a Christ-follower and learn to appreciate and embrace the negativity that comes from being a Christian in the modern era. Kendall uses the Greek definition of scandal and stigma to give the reader a proper word picture by which to frame how we are called to live as Christians. "Scandal" in the original language means to be caught in a trap or snare. Today, scandal refers to that which offer the moral sensibilities. "Stigma" in the original language meant marked with a reproach. Kendall's use of the these words show that being a Christian is offensive to many and that we are marked people today.
Kendall begins the book with a brief history of his early life, including his 25 years as pastor of Westminster Chapel in London. The following chapters explain why the gospel of Christ is so offensive to many. He writes, "What is so offensive about the Christian faith can be briefly summed up: Jesus Christ is the only way to God and faith in the blood that He shed on the cross fits a person for heaven when they die". Kendall uses the lives of the Old Testament saints such as Noah, David, Joseph, and others to show how far back this stigma has applied. Chapters nine and ten, "The Reason the Jews Missed Their Messiah" and "The Stigma of No Vindication" are the best in the book. Kendall then goes on to point out how scandalous the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit is in the world today.
I cannot agree theologically with everything Kendall wrote. That being said, I enjoyed and appreciated the way Kendall puts for the gospel and our proper response to it. I can recommend this book with great enthusiasm. Kendall's quote from the beginning of the book gives a proper summation. He writes, "I write this book basically for one reason: that you will be unashamed to accept the scandal that arises from following Jesus Christ. More than that, you should become willing to embrace that scandal, to take it with both hands and rejoice in the privilege that you are a part of the greatest enterprise on the planet - namely, to be associated with the name Jesus Christ."
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker Books as part of their Blogger Review Program. 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 Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
It isn't always easy to be a Christian. Many martyrs have perished simply for being Christians, some even killed by their own family members. Others are/were thrown into prison. This is not a new thing - New Testament Christians were often martyrs - and it is not an old thing, either. Persecution.com and http://persecutionproject.org/ are modern day groups supporting modern day Christians who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus.
In our day and age here in the "Western world", the persucution we face is mild - we are slandered on the media, sometimes called hate mongers, and discriminated against in other areas. However, these trials are not always easy to bear, despite the fact that they are relitivly mild.
Unashamed to Bear His Name is written to be an encouragement to us - that we need to be brave and persistent in defending Jesus name, not heeding those who oppose us and seek to slander our efforts. This theme of the book I agree with. However, this is not the only part.
One chapter in particular struck me as incorrect. In this chapter, Mr. Kendall seems to advocate glossing over doctrine if it is not a salvation issue. While I do agree that some church traditions are just that - traditions, which are not from the Bible, and should not be stumbling blocks for Christians, it ought to be obvious that many doctrines are vitally important and should not be glossed over in the least. Yes, we can be friends with our brethren who are on the opposite side of the fence. However, that does not mean that ignoring doctrine and the Bible's teachings are an option.
I would also note that some of his teaching of the Holy Spirit is debatable, mostly based on his feelings rather than the Bible.
7 out of 10 stars
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.