Sunday Shorts (09/13)

Book Review: Fearless by Max Lucado

Tuesday was the official release of popular author Max Lucado’s latest, Fearless, and I, along with a few hundred other bloggers, published our reviews—some overly positive, some in the middle and some… well, less than pleased. Mark at wrote a wonderful review that I appreciated a great deal:

While Lucado does present life’s fears and difficulties it is almost as if man is a victim. Although he does use the language of choosing to live for God which shows some level of responsibility. What is not stressed is the sinfulness of man as the reason for his hopelessness. It is not just that people do not trust God and sin. It is that people actively rebel against God. People are much worse than they think.

Read the rest for yourself at Mark’s blog.

Matt Chandler: On Calvinism and the New Reformed

Leadership Journal released a wonderful interview with Matt Chandler, lead pastor of the Village Church. In it, he pulls no punches, speaking about issues of sanctification, the Calvinistic bend of his teaching, and the New Reformed Movement. Here’s a couple excerpts:

Your teaching is deeply rooted in Calvinism. How does that play into becoming more Christ-like? What is God’s role and what is ours?

I believe the sovereign God of the universe justifies us freely, and then we are called to run with him in sanctification. In the book of Philippians, Paul tells us to toil, strive, move, and press on. Paul is unbelievably aggressive when it comes to putting sin to death.

That is what drives me mad in evangelical circles, including some young Reformed circles. There is often a sit-on-the-couch-and-wait-for-God-to-do-something mentality that is unbiblical and wicked. It’s probably been true of every generation, but I can see it most clearly in the younger crowd. There seems to be so little war when it comes to sin. Like the guy who comes to home group every week and dismissingly says, “Oh, I looked at porn again,” “Oh, I looked at porn again,” “Oh, I looked at porn again.” That drives me insane. I don’t even know what to do with him. Where’s the war? Where’s the hate for sin?

The New Reformed movement is sometimes seen as a belligerent group. Do you think that perception is accurate?

I’m unapologetically Reformed, but nine times out of ten I cannot stand the Reformed community. I don’t want to be around them. I don’t want to read their blogs. They can be cannibalistic, self-indulgent, non-missional, and angry. It’s silly and sad at the same time. Reformed doctrine should lead to a deep sense of humility and patience with others. How it produces such arrogance baffles me.

New Calvinism is a young movement, and young people are often arrogant. Life hasn’t had a chance to beat the trash out of them yet. I’ll tell the young people in my sermons, “You can’t get into theological battles while you still live with your mom.” Or, “You can nail your 95 theses to the door once you own one.” Before these 20 year olds begin passionately defending their view of Scripture, I want to see that they are being obedient to it.

Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing as it’s all brilliant.


In case you missed it

Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:

Book Review: Fearless, my take on Max Lucado’s latest book.

The Difference is Jesus, a new website focusing on the shared passion of myself and Compassion: The Gospel

The 30 Minute Challenge, what would happen if you spent 30 minutes a day for the next week reading a book?

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