Today’s theological issues are often polarizing. People fight over “their side” of many secondary and third order issues as if they are of first importance to the gospel. Of course these discussions and conversations are important, especially when the Bible speaks to them. Therefore, we should study them, but not divide over them, nor retreat from one another. We must not read into the biblical text what we want it to say. Instead we should teach and preach what it says but do so in a gentle and kind way that honors God and builds up the saints. In our world today our discourse is extremely unhelpful. Often times, the way we speak to each other isn’t loving and can be discouraging and disheartening. Scott Sauls, a pastor in Nashville who was mentored by Dr. Tim Keller is well-aware of all of this. This is why he wrote, Jesus Outside The Lines A Way Forward for those who are tired of taking sides.
There is much that I truly enjoyed about Scott’s book. I enjoyed his discussion on marriage, on sexual freedom, and purity, affirmation, critique, the church, and more. In fact the whole book is a model for how to engage issues with convictional kindness to use the words Dr. Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The author in this book provides a way forward for how Christians can deal with a wide variety of cultural and worldviews issues. In fact, I would contend that Scott’s book should be a go to book to consider what he has to say as he writes to help shape Christian’s worldview from the life and teaching of Jesus from the Word of God.
We live in a day where our world is rapidly changing. ISIS is persecuting and killing Christians the world over. It seems governments have turned against the people they are entrusted with leading. Many church leaders are failing in their responsibility to preach and teach the Word of God. In a world that seems more concerned about self than God we need to be reminded of the importance of biblical conversation. We as God’s people need to be reminded that we have been called to a higher standard and that is of love. We are a people that are to be known by the way we love one another (John 13:35). This is why I enjoyed Scott’s book.
In his book Scott seeks to show us how the words and actions of Jesus reveal a response that does not perpetuate the destructive way. Jesus taught His people how to love, discuss issues, and deal with opponents. In this book you’re invited by Scott into the world of Jesus. You’ll be confronted with worldly ideas that affect how you think. Scott takes you again and again back to Jesus who can change your life. At various times you’ll disagree with Scott’s conclusions. You may even strongly disagree with him. Scott wants to help us to engage well. His book will cause you to think. And thinking is good. Thinking good, long, and hard on biblical teaching is good for the soul. Disagreeing without becoming disrespectful is a hallmark of spiritual maturity. The ability to engage in respectful dialogue with those you disagree with isn’t unhealthy. It’s actually loving and helpful. This is why I enjoyed this Scott’s book.
I highly recommend Jesus Outside the Lines. As it did with me, you’ll find it will stretch your thinking. It will challenge you to engage the issues. Scott demonstrates worldview thinking at its best. All good writing, teaching, and preaching ought to invite readers deeper into the world of Bible. After all we’re called to bring men and women to Jesus, and Jesus is the One who saves, and sanctifies them. This is what Scott does so well. He brings his readers time and time again to Jesus. He doesn’t force them to Jesus. He invites them to dine with Jesus. He shows us the meal Jesus offers. And here in this book you’ll meet Jesus in a variety of ways that will push your buttons. And that is good. We need to be stretched and challenged. This is what Scott’s book does so well.
So if you’re tired of the type of Christianity that excuses the life of the mind in favor of “loving God” Scott’s book is for you. This book will challenge you to consider Jesus from the Gospels. It will open your eyes and shock your senses; especially those of you who are apathetic about Jesus. This excellent book will help you to see, know, and delight in Jesus who saves, is sanctifying, and will one day glorify His people. So go pick up this book and be challenged, encouraged, and edified as I was in reading this book.
Buy the book from Amazon.
I received this book for free from Tyndale for this review. 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.”