As 21st century Christians, we have settled down to a complacent form of faith that demands very little of us. However, this type of faith also has little impact on the world. When secular values infiltrate the church, we accept them without a twinge of conscience and congratulate ourselves on our tolerance. In Who Are You to Judge? Erwin Lutzer looks at today's world, and confronts us with our responsibility, as believers in the church of Jesus Christ, to again be a force for what it right . . . not easy.
Erwin W. Lutzer is senior pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago. A graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and Loyola University, he is the author of numerous books, including the Gold Medallion Award winner "Hitler's Cross" and the best seller "One Minute After You Die". He is also a teacher on radio programs heard on more than 700 stations throughout the United States and the world, including "Songs in the Night," "The Moody Church Hour," and the daily feature "Running to Win." He and his wife, Rebecca, live in the Chicago area and have three married children and seven grandchildren.
This book was first published in 2002, about 16 years ago, yet the contents are timeless. I enjoy hearing Lutzer speak at my church occasionally, and have read other books by him. As Christians live their lives in a culture that goes out of its way to negate Biblical teaching and berate those who use scripture to evaluate what is morally right or wrong, we are judged for our faith, but not allowed to judge the actions or beliefs of others. Yet, as this author points out, if the church is to have any lasting impact on the world in sharing the gospel, in being "salt and light," our integrity demands that we must be people of discernment.
Within the pages of this book, Lutzer lays out the reasoning for this conflict between Christians and the world in a way that makes logical comparisons. I wish more people would think through the issues this way, rather than acting on their emotions and opinions. I found his wisdom on learning to distinguish between truths, half-truths, and lies to be both encouraging and convicting. The notes I took while digesting this book and praying through it are rich with timeless, universal, and solidly Biblical truths that I want to go back to read sometimes for encouragement.
In a postmodern age - nay, a world consumed by itself, it has become near impossible for Christians to decide when they must judge and be judged, or when to keep silent - but, with the guidance of this easy to understand discussion on judgment and integrity, believers can begin to follow the scripture in the ways of Christ on the matters of truth, half-truths and lies. Lutzer examines the Word in an engaging and thought-provoking series of questions about character in modern times that will offer helpful insight into the minds of mixed generations, understandable to both newcomers and believers of old alike. Where does one draw the line between keeping silent and speaking above the crowds?
I am new to Dr. Lutzer's books, but after hearing much about it, I decided to give it a try. I was not disappointed! This book runs in the same vein as John MacArthur's _Reckless Faith_, although this book is more broad in its scope of defining deviant doctrines.
AMong the statements that Dr. Lutzer makes on biblical discernment these are the most notable: A half-truth is more destructive than a whole lie, namely because a half truth is harder to recognize. The theme of the book would be to develop in Christians the discipline to learn discernment in a loving way. That is, when one is exposing error, one should do it with an intent to win back the brother. He then goes into detail on distinguishing between true and false miracles, true and false doctrine, false prophets, etc.
However, I must warn this: If you have read Dr. Macarthur's book on discernment (please read this one as well), and you were offended by his "intolerant" statements about the Charismatic movement or the Catholic Church (amazing that Christians now adopt the language of the world!), then this book will probably have the same effect. But then maybe not. MacArthur writes with fire and ice; Lutzer is more cool and rational.
Judgements are both necessary and needed. Our task is to make wise judgments in a nonjudgmental world.
We have heard it before; Who are you to judge? Only God can judge me. etc. etc. It can be difficult to have a conversation with others when sharing their need for salvation and the work of Christ on the cross. This read is for those who desire to share the Good News and to hold on to the firm foundation of the truth that makes way to the road less traveled. The definition of truth is exclusive and many ways does not lead to truth. Judgment is getting to the truth and keeping the truth. Judgment is how justice is displayed. We all define truth by what is wrong and what is right.
Jesus challenged the culture by understanding the culture. This book helps the Christian challenge themselves as well as the culture. Why it is important on both accounts. We must have a understanding of how the culture (the world) affects us. We can easily be intimated if we do not have a good understanding on the value of discernment. In not understanding, we can lose the effectiveness of the Gospel. The effectiveness is lost when we listen to the voice of Did God really say? When properly understood and the gospel is lived out, sacrifice becomes the culture of the church. The better of others to further the kingdom. It cannot be done with lies and without discernment. Truth becomes hard if it is not softened by love; love becomes soft if it is not strengthened by truth
The study is complete with what needs our discernments and why and the ultimate price for those discernments. It will strengthen your faith and ultimately allow you to love others truly.
A Special Thank You to Moody Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
A much needed corrective to the relativistic notions that post-modernism has infected us with. Lutzer helps us think about our thinking ... demonstrating how to reason Bibllically, insightfully and carefully about God, ourselves and life in this world. The book doesn't so much tell the reader what thoughts he ought to have, but aids in developing a Christian mind.
Lutzer is one of my favorite authors on biblical doctrine. In this book he helps Christians understand the difference between judging fruit and judging heart. It's a great read for anyone who desires to develop discernment in learning to distinguish between truths, half-truths, and lies.
This book was EXCELLENT! It addresses the issues that many churches in America wash over. The church in America tends to accept mixture whereas you almost can't tell the difference between the church and the world. Thank God someone is teaching holiness.
There is a lot of good, challenging material in this book that causes one to reflect and do some soul searching. The book is a bit different than I expected given the title and subtitle. There are a lot of specific discussions and examples of truths, half-truths and lies with the author's case regarding them - sometimes with good backup and other times not so much. My belief is that the Holy Spirit, working with the Word of God in the Bible to apply it to what you are confronting, is the right way to discern what is truth. Our human tendency is to default to our preconceptions and we need the Holy Spirit working in us to override that and arrive at the truth according to God (He is the Truth). While the author covered that, most of the book was telling the reader what is the truth in the various topics and what the lies and half-truths were. While I believe most of what he has to say is right, that approach is indirect regarding teaching the reader how to find the truth in a different situation (not covered) in his life.
One item that I made note of as it surprised me was a statement about the Tower of Babel. On page 171, the author says, "The tower of Babel was destroyed because of astrology; God was angry with the people when they turned to the stars to read their fortunes and futures." Rereading the account in Genesis 11, I find no reference to astrology involved in men to build the tower. It was all about pride of man to make himself great in one location, rather than obey God's instruction to spread out on the earth. If astrology was involved in that decision, I do not find that in the scriptures. The author did not explain or lend support to that.
Another observation is that the author is troubled by faith healers and miracle workers who have misled the people to the point it impacts his own theology. He tends to err on the side of unbelief of anything that looks like a miracle. It was troubling to me that he went through the track of cessationist theology, making a case that there were many miracles at the inception of the church but once it was established and the original disciples died off, the miracles ceased. Then, after ranting about that, it was like he caught himself and backtracked acknowledging that there are still miracles today. That whole segment was not very helpful in teaching the reader about how to distinguish between truth and untruth.
Overall, the book is worth reading. One must realize that the topic is a difficult one to tackle. One book is not going to enable the Christian reader to distinguish between truth, half-truths, and lies.
“We’ve lost the ability to judge the world because we have lost the ability to judge ourselves.” That’s part of the message in this easy-to-read and to understand book.
I listen weekly to this author’s messages on my local Christian Radio Station. His book is just as informational and applicable to daily living as are his Sunday sermons. It’s a pertinent reminder to us believers to guard our minds and hearts and to uphold biblical principles in our daily living. It’s a “MUST READ” for parents who want to encourage their children by example to obey the scriptures and to bear fruit that will last.
Hope Irvin Marston, author of THE WALLS HAVE EARS: A BLACK SPY IN THE CONFEDERATE WHITE HOUSE
Lutzer's books are always worthwhile. This one gets off to a little bit of a slow start, but the later chapters were particularly interesting. The last chapter seemed to be directed mostly to Christians as an exhortation to maintain their integrity and remain above reproach.
Who Are You to Judge?: Learning to Distinguish Between Truths, Half-Truths, and Lies by Erwin W. Lutzer shows how to judge according to God's word, without being judgmental.
Today's world says so many things are ok that God says plainly in HIS word isn't ok. The question is who do you listen to? The world or the word of God? As for me, I want to make Heaven my home, this world is just a stopping place until HE calls me to come home. So I will follow His word, the Holy Bible, to lead me on the path to home.
With Chapters titled.. 1. Why Are We Afraid To Judge? 2. Judge Not,That You Not Be Judged 3. When You Judge Doctrine 4. When Judge False Prophets 5. When You Judge Miracles 6. When You Judge Entertainment 7. When You Judge Appearances 8. When You Judge Neopaganism 9. When You Judge Ghost, Angels, and Shrines 10. When You Judge Conduct 11. When You Judge Character
Pastor Lutzer explains, using Biblical scriptures, what God has to say on each of these subjects compared to what the world has to say on them.
Some of my favorite quotes from this book are... "The love with in the church attracts the world; the holiness within the church convicts the world." page 29 "Even Jesus did not change the world through miracles but through HIS suffering." page 97 "Let's ask ourselves some hard questions: Are we satisfied with the way we spend our time last year? Let's evaluate the return of our investment for the number of hours we sat in front of the television set during the last twelve months. Did the time spent make us a better person? Did it improve our character? Imagine what we would be like if we had spend all that time, say, reading our Bible" page 134 "We must clean up our own act before we can help others" page 135 "Yes, as have learned, there are times when we must judge, but let us be sure to judge ourselves first" page 207
You may not agree with everything the author has to say, but I personally think he brings across some very great points taken from the Bible, that show us how to judge without being judgmental. Showing how we should live according to the word of God.
I highly recommend this book to all Christians I received a FREE copy from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review, rather it be good or bad. Thank you for allowing me to read and review this book, it is one I will be returning to again.
This is an incredibly relevant and necessary book in our day and age! Judging is a very touchy subject with people either going overboard or the opposite extreme- discarding all godly judgment. People (Christians and unbelievers alike) are even loathe to be discerning, resulting in a really, really messed-up world. There is stability and peace in personal convictions and rules made according to God's word- not to mention glorifying God Himself! The amazing thing about this book is the balance: the author, Mr. Erwin Lutzer takes this difficult subject and investigates it with clarity, wisdom and Biblical soundness. I highly recommend this surprisingly easy-to-comprehend book and assure you that you will not be offended or confused by it. I have read (and reviewed) many books dealing with issues of today and such problems and I found all too many of those Christian books to be confusing, weak or unfounded on Biblical truth. This book I trust and understood very well. Before reading this paperback you might wonder if it's right to judge or if you should just accept everything that is going on around you...well, this book will gently open your eyes to what God says in His Word! Also, this book by Erwin Lutzer is good in that it doesn't put down denominations- rather, the author explains everything quite factually without pointing fingers. Of course, he also writes with strength and an upholding of God's truths. So read this book with a humble heart and be prepared to view the world around you differently, through a lens more like our Maker's!
In his book, Who Are You To Judge?, Pastor Erwin Lutzer examines the need for discernment in today’s church. Tackling everything from doctrine to dress, Lutzer explains the importance of a biblical approach to evaluating spiritual claims and relativistic culture. In a direct but diplomatic way, Pastor Lutzer addresses the failure to uphold the standard of truth in today’s church and the ensuing consequences. This book is a call for believers to embrace wisdom and discernment without withholding love from those who are trapped in false doctrine or enticed by the latest trends in the culture.
Who Are You To Judge? clarifies and encourages wise choices in today’s society without being judgmental. The author’s down-to-earth approach makes this volume informative and accessible. Each chapter deals with a specific issue facing today’s church and how to deal with it biblically. The first half of the book is more cohesive than the second half. Nevertheless, Who Are You To Judge? remains a helpful tool for Christians who seek to maintain a biblically sound worldview inside and outside the Church.
I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Very good book by Dr. Lutzer. The first half is very strong - the second half felt more like a collection of disjointed essays. All the content is very Biblical and (as a natural consequence) convicting but the organization of the book felt odd. Recommended.