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In voice and style evocative of Donald Miller and Scot McKnight, yet with a message all his own, Rod Tucker explores how we Christians have become masters of self-deceptive and fake moral living. Just like Adam and Eve, we don't want anyone to know we are spiritually naked. But covering up around God denies us the freedom of his grace. Until we can be honest with ourselves, honest with God, and honest with others, daily grace will continue to elude us, either as gift received or as gift given. We remain trapped in our Botox spirituality until we come to grips with exactly who we are.
How do Christians, benefactors of the overwhelming grace of an immeasurably generous God, fail so miserably at showing and distributing - of all things - grace?
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Kregel Publications
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.25 (inches)|
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female2 Stars Out Of 5Only a part of the complete gospelApril 7, 2014bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 2Value: 3Meets Expectations: 1Tucker wants Christians to be honest. He begins with honesty on the individual level and then what it means in the Christian community. He shares many of his own experiences with honestly, or lack of it, and encourages us to authentic transparent relationships.
Transparency, Tucker says, is what sets the stage for genuine transformation. He struggled with pornography and much of the honesty promoted in the book revolves around it. Because of this, women may have difficulty identifying with Tucker's stories, as I did. Also, Tucker apparently had counseling (59) so there is more to his dealing with the issue than just being honest with others.
I pretty much agree with Tucker's call for honesty. I would offer some caution. Tucker said he became ruthlessly honest with people he knew could help him (including his counselor) and that is important. Blurting out one's sins could be disastrous. Perhaps it should be done only in a trusted setting.
I think Tucker deals with only a part of the gospel in this book. He writes, "...the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which exclaims God's reality that all are loved, all are welcome, all are desired, and all are accepted." (81) "The issues with the church and homosexuality is not whether homosexuality is right or wrong. The issue is whether or not we will receive the homosexual in the same way that Christ has received us." (79)
What Tucker fails to address is what happens after that. What about church discipline? (See what Paul commands for one living in unrepentant sexual sin in 1 Cor. 5.) What about the whole issue of God disciplining us because he loves us, not wanting us to continue to sin? (Heb. 12:4-11) What about discipleship? Once we have welcomed them, as Christ welcomes us, how do we love them through discipleship and discipline, as God does because He loves us?
Here's another example of Tucker telling half the story of the gospel. Writing about Paul and Galatians, "He explains freedom as something that exists simply because it is good that it is exists, and that we are intended to experience it for freedom's sake alone." (127) The footnote refers us to Galatians 5:1. Tucker did not include the other side of freedom, where Paul says, "But do not use your freedom to indulge in the flesh..." (Gal. 5:13b) Nor does he write about the restriction Paul places on a Christian's freedom in 1 Cor. 9:23-33.
Tucker goes on, "All He asks is that we confess our need for Him, receive His grace, and give His grace to those who need it most." (136) That is a good beginning to living the gospel life, but what about, "So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31)?
Tucker writes, "We no longer need to strive to become perfect. We can live under the umbrella of God's grace." (136) What about Paul's commands to rid ourselves of certain behavior and "put on" others (Col. 3:8,12)? What about Paul beating his body into submission? (1 Cor. 9:27) What about all the other behavior commands we find in the new Testament, like not being sexually immoral (1 Cor. 10:8)?
Tucker writes, "...what I really want is for people to come together in a place where everyone can be honest. Where everyone, imperfect as we are, can be received with grace." (119) I agree. But let us not forget - that is only part of the gospel. That is the "nor do I condemn you" from Jesus. We must also include the rest of the gospel, the "go and leave your life of sin" part. (John 8:11)
This is a very simplistic look at a complex issue. It leaves so many questions unanswered. When a believer is honest about his sexual immorality, how do we help that person "do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31) and "flee sexual immorality" (1 Cor. 6:18)? How do we disciple? What is the role of church discipline and how is it done to God's glory?
This book is an encouragement to be honest and live transparently in the Christian community. You will have to go elsewhere, however, to find out how that is actually lived out in a lifetime of glorifying God.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
Chris WoznickiLos Angeles, CAAge: 25-34Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5It's all about honesty!April 7, 2014Chris WoznickiLos Angeles, CAAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Let's be honest for a minute - on a scale of 1 to 10 - how honest and open do you think you are? How honest are you with yourself? Your own sins, your own baggage, your own issues, etc. How honest are you with others? Do you feel like you can share your mistakes, your shortcomings, and your junk with people at church? How does our lack of being honest with ourselves and our fear of being honest with other people hurt our relationships? These are all the sorts of the questions Rod Tucker addresses in Uncovered.
Let me be honest with you - I loved this book. I loved Rod Tucker's desire to see the church become more honest. I loved his desire to see the church become a haven of grace. I loved the fact that he points out that the gospel frees us up to be open. I love the fact that he challenges us to be more honest with ourselves and with our Uncoveredchurch community. I especially loved how he tied honesty in with maintaining our image and focusing on the American dream; it's a lack of authenticity and honesty that leads us to consumerism in order to cover up our shortcomings.
There are some great chapters in this book, let me just highlight a few of those for you:
Ã¢Å¾Â¢ Chapter 2: Self Protection - Rod shares about how we use dishonesty to protect our self-image.
Ã¢Å¾Â¢ Chapter 3: Sewing, Hiding, Blaming - We resort to these three tactics (just like Adam and Eve) to cover up the things we are ashamed of.
Ã¢Å¾Â¢ Chapter 15: Being a Safe Place - "We need to treat people exactly how God, because of Jesus, treats us." The keyword is grace!
Ã¢Å¾Â¢ Chapter 16: Why Honesty Matters - We can use excess and stuff as a way of hiding. This hinders our relationships.
Ã¢Å¾Â¢ Chapter 18: Mirrors - A brilliant short story about a girl who all of a sudden discovers her reflection.
Ã¢Å¾Â¢ Chapter 20: Reconciliation - God is in the business of bringing people back to himself. If we want to be a part of that, we need to be honest with ourselves and admit that we were once in a position of need, just like all the lost people out there.
I could see myself using this book as fodder for sermons but I could really see myself handing this book over to some church small group leaders, telling them to open it up and read certain chapters as a form of training. In other words this is a much needed resource for the church. We need to listen to a lot of what Rod Tucker is saying in this book.
Again I will be honest with you - I loved this book - but there were some parts I didn't like or agree with. 1)The chapter on homosexuality - while there was nothing in this chapter that I necessarily disagree with or reject, it seems as disjointed from the rest of the book. The chapter doesn't really "fit," so I am not sure why he included it. More importantly though_ 2)His idea that "honesty is the point." He says "honesty is not something to move past." He argues against people who want to move past "simply being honest and figure out how to quit sinning" (56). Although I would agree with him, that "quitting sinning" is not the goal of our faith, simply being honest isn't the goal either. Our goal is to be Christ-like, yes that includes honesty but when it comes to spiritual growth, honesty is a major tool for bringing the sin to the light and allowing Christ to transform us. What is a bit disappointing about this book is that he builds it off the premise that "honesty is the point." It almost seems that for Rod Tucker, honesty is the silver bullet that will solve most if not all of the Church's current problems. However honesty in and of itself certainly will not solve any of our problems, only Jesus can do that, thankfully Jesus has given us the grace to be honest, and that will definitely help the church grow into becoming Christlike.
This book was a short read. It was both provocative and challenging. As I read I felt the desire to grow in honesty with people in my life around me. Rod's goal was to show us how to cultivate honest within the church, having finished the book I can say that this book will certainly help in doing that.
(Note: I received this book from Kregel in exchange for an impartial review.)
TopazshellChattanooga, Tn.Age: 55-65Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5Our feelings are not as important as honesty.April 7, 2014TopazshellChattanooga, Tn.Age: 55-65Gender: FemaleIt isn't easy to share our honest selves with God or with ourselves. Rod Tucker in Uncovered gives the tools needed to make it less difficult. However, there is no way around the fact that a willingness to become vulnerable is necessary. However, as we become more open and forget about hiding our sins, vices or shortcomings, there is the gift of Grace from God and fellowship.
I wasn't aware of the different ways we can hide ourselves from others and ourselves. There are story examples given by the author. These helped me to understand on a deeper level what "uncovering" means. Just a small point from the book, I didn't understand the harm in giving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the homeless people passing on the streets in New Orleans after Katrina had hit. It seemed like a small, nice beginning, a small way to show love and care.
It's a short book. The book is thought provoking. So I will think of it many times after writing this book review.
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