Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Why Living Like Jesus is Not Enough

Reviewed by Derek Melleby

There is a popular, growing concern among some segments of the church that for too long Christians have focused on “believing the right things” instead of “living the right way.” Some claim that Jesus was much more concerned with how one lived than with what one believed. In his book, Don’t Stop Believing: Why Living Like Jesus is Not Enough (Zondervan, 2008), seminary professor Michael Wittmer warns that this popular notion may be taking things too far. He writes, “I appreciate the renewed turn to practice, but wonder why we must turn from doctrine to get there. If modern, conservative churches replaced concern for right living with right doctrine, shouldn’t postmoderns be wary of falling off the other edge replacing concern for right doctrine with right living?”

Wittmer writes with humor and passion, tackling the toughest questions the church is currently wrestling with to show how both right doctrine and right living is necessary. Sample questions include: Must you believe something to be saved? Are people generally good or basically bad? Which is worse: homosexuals or the bigots who persecute them? Is the cross divine child abuse? Is Hell for real and forever? Is the Bible God’s true Word?

Wittmer offers a balanced, thoughtful and biblical approach to these questions and many more. This book is essential reading for anyone who cares about the church and current theological debates. It is especially important for those who are both critical and receptive of the theology of what has become known as the “emerging church.”

Coming soon: a CPYU Bookshelf exclusive interview with professor Michael Wittmer!

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