If you choose to read this book, you will definitely find it to be an exercise in humility. It isn’t an easy read, and it will challenge you to closely examine your sins, the sincerity of your repentance, and your desire to amend your life and become a holier person. In a number of chapters, the author contrasts imaginary characters to illustrate the different behavior of those who are attempting to devote their entire lives to Christ with those who compartmentalize their faith, allowing the culture to determine most of their behavior. As he puts it:
“If therefore we are to live unto God at any time, in any place, we are to live unto Him at all times and in all places. If we are to use anything as the gift of God, we are to use everything as His gift.”
In other words, piety is not reserved for Sunday morning, and does not involve rote compliance with Christian rites and rituals. It is a way of living that should affect all that we say and do. He’s perfectly right, and these are things we should all think about seriously.
However, for Lutherans, you will also find that in places Law errs on the side of works righteousness. He implies that complete repentance of every particular sin is necessary for salvation, turning repentance into a work that we can accomplish through our own will. He also has a tendency to turn his own suggestions about prayer into rules that must be followed.
VERDICT: 3 STARS. Worth reading if you are able to discern some of the fallacies in his theology.
For more book reviews see these posts:
A Praying Church by Paul E. Miller– Book Review
Quilt of Souls by Phyllis Biffle Elmore — Book Review