This is an important book. Its flaws, though not insignificant, do not take too much away from its argument. In sum, Lee persuasively distinguishes OrThis is an important book. Its flaws, though not insignificant, do not take too much away from its argument. In sum, Lee persuasively distinguishes Orthodox Christianity from its Gnostic heresy, and shows that much of modern Protestantism resembles the former more than the latter. Where Lee goes wrong is 1) strangely identifying anti-Communist tendencies in the West with Gnosticism and sympathizing with Marxism, and 2) expanding his critique of Protestant Gnosticism so widely that virtually NO sin in the Church today is not made to somehow fall under the category of Gnosticism. In spite of these flaws, the basic premise of the book and its abundant evidence and analysis is enough to help any Protestant reader become more aware of his own Church's Gnostic tendencies and to prepare him to resist them....more
Few New Testament scholars are able to write a book that is at once scholarly, inspirational, and well-crafted, but N.T. Wright has such a gift. ThisFew New Testament scholars are able to write a book that is at once scholarly, inspirational, and well-crafted, but N.T. Wright has such a gift. This book sometimes seemed to jump around quite a bit, but tackling major themes and nimbly jumping from one part of Scripture to another seems to be Wright's style (as in Paul in Fresh Perspective). I appreciated a lot of the thought-provoking material, and the last chapter on what it means to be a Christian in our postmodern culture is absolutely outstanding.
A sample quote:
Our task as image-bearing, God-loving, Christ-shaped, Spirit-filled Christians, following Christ and shaping our world, is to announce redemption to a world that has discovered its fallenness, to announce healing to a world that has discovered its brokenness, to proclaim love and trust to a world that knows only exploitation, fear and suspicion...The gospel of Jesus points us and indeed urges us to be at the leading edge of the whole culture, articulating in story and music and art and philosophy and education and poetry and politics and theology and even--heaven help us--Biblical studies, a worldview that will mount the historically-rooted Christian challenge to both modernity and postmodernity, leading the way...with joy and humor and gentleness and good judgment and true wisdom. I believe if we face the question, "if not now, then when?" if we are grasped by this vision we may also hear the question, "if not us, then who?" And if the gospel of Jesus is not the key to this task, then what is?
The best thing about this book is its thesis: Biblical Christianity is fundamentally about serving others, and Black describes what that is supposed tThe best thing about this book is its thesis: Biblical Christianity is fundamentally about serving others, and Black describes what that is supposed to entail. He is, admirably, a man who practices what he preaches. The book's greatest shortcoming is, in my opinion, that he applies this theme too simplistically in his discussion of American politics....more