Length: 179 pgs
Author: Michael Wittmer
If you ride the pendulum this book will likely make you mad and that is exactly why I liked it. While I did not always agree with Wittmer’s analysis or his advice, I agree completely with his overall thesis – that orthodoxy and orthopraxy are not competing alternatives. While some conservatives so emphasize belief that it doesn’t matter how you live, post-modern innovators often so stress ethics that it doesn’t matter what you believe. The pendulum swings. Wittmer calls for us to learn from each and stand our middle ground. He shows the relation of right practice to right belief by tackling 10 tough questions that often divide the extreme camps. The questions are:
- Must you believe something to be saved?
- Do right beliefs get in the way of good works?
- Are people generally good or basically bad?
- Which is worse: homosexuals or the bigots who persecute them?
- Is the cross divine child abuse?
- Can you belong before you believe?
- Does the kingdom of God include non-Christians?
- Is hell real and forever?
- Is it possible to know anything?
- Is the Bible God’s Word?
If you are attracted to postmodern innovators I would recommend this book to you. If you are appalled by them thinking they have no valid critiques of evangelicalism I would also recommend this book to you. I give you a couple of my favorite quotes and the conclusion of the chapter dealing with homosexuality.
Christians believe that the true God is not one person, as Jews and Muslims suppose, but that he is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – three persons who share a single essence. These monotheistic religions agree that God is one, and so he is to be feared and praised above all gods. But only the Christian faith, which adds that God is also three, best explains why God is love.
We will always bear the image of God which is why our sin is a tragedy. Girls Gone Wild is sadder than When Animals Attack, for, spring break evidence to the contrary, the girls in these videos – and the guys who watch – are corrupting a higher good.
One of Jerry Falwell’s close associates left Lynchburg in 1987 to pastor a church in Grand Rapids. Ed Dobson decided that his church would balance their conviction that homosexual acts are wrong with compassion for those suffering from its effects. So he called an AIDS hotline, which put him in contact with the pastor of a pro-homosexual church in the community. Dobson told the pastor that while they never would agree on the morality of homosexual practice, they could agree to work together to help those who were struggling with AIDS. …
Dobson’s greatest criticism came from his congregation, many of whom feared that their church would be overrun with homosexuals. Dobson replied “that will be terrific. They can take their place in the pews right next to the liars, gossips, materialist, and all the rest of us who entertain sin in their lives.” He added, “When I die, if someone stands up and says, ‘Ed Dobson loved homosexuals,’ then I will have accomplished something with my life.”
Dobson’s ministry is evidence that we need not compromise our moral code to reach out to those who have violated it. Homosexuals are guilty of illicit sex. We are often guilty of not caring about them or their plight. Our sin is greater, and it isn’t even close?