If you read one book this year, make it this one.
Usually, the Book of the Week is a volume from my library which I have read recently. One of my main reasons for starting this feature on the blog was so that I had an incentive to read one book a week. Today will be an exception, however.
I was handed a copy of Steve Brown’s A Scandalous Freedom by a missionary colleague during last week’s conference. I already had a couple books I planned on reading that week. My colleague mentioned that I could skim it if I preferred. I read one page, and realized that this was far more important than anything I was reading at the time. The whole book was finished in three days.
What made this such fascinating reading? A hint can be found in the subtitle of the book: “The Radical Nature of the Gospel”.
You see, Brown’s basic premise is that the Grace of God sets us free. Of course all of us would agree with that. Where many will find Brown’s book hard to swallow (if not downright disturbing) is that he defines freedom as…well…freedom. Not freedom from, nor freedom to…simply freedom.
Now before we get into calls of heresy, Brown is no antinomian. Perhaps one of his most vivid illustrations in a book full of vivid illustrations is his description of the Law of God as a map to guide us through a minefield. He is just tired (as am I) of God’s people being burdened by man-made laws. The following quote from the book puts it quite succinctly:
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
I’m afraid that this small review is not doing Brown (a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary) justice. I just know that, upon reading this book, I came away with a much greater desire to really know Jesus. Perhaps missionaries are expected to have that base covered, but I confess readily that I do not.
Those of you who have followed these reviews know that when I believe a book is less than quality, I say so. Take that into account, then, when I say YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. I am not saying I agree with the author on everything (after all, nobody has achieved the level of spirituality it takes to totally agree with me!). I am saying your walk with God will be greatly benefited by it.