I just finished reading Andrew Farley’s latest book Heaven is Now. The title is a bit misleading, so the subtitle more accurately portrays the message: “Awakening Your Five Spiritual Senses to the Wonders of Grace.” I’m a Farley fan, counting his first book The Naked Gospel among my top 10 of books having the greatest impact on me. I look forward to reading his God Without Religion next.
What I appreciate about his books is that they inevitably challenge me to adjust (or abandon) some beliefs in favor of others more consistent with a better understanding of what the Bible teaches on the subject. He is not afraid to take ideas that church-going people have heard for years and challenge them by laying out all the relevant scripture passages that address the topic. For those who hold the Bible to be authoritative in all matters of faith and practice, that is the only way you will ultimately win a debate on a related topic.
Farley is easily misunderstood if all someone hears is a small snippet of his writing or preaching apart from the larger context. Ironically, that is how many of the notions he challenges come to prominence in the first place – by hearing or knowing only snippets of what the Bible teaches on a matter.
Regardless of whether you have any interest in Farley’s books or such topics, the main points of this post are that I know I can count on learning something new when I read his works, that I will be challenged in some way I was not expecting when I started the book, but that I am far better off in the end because I have a more consistent, scriptural understanding that not only benefits me but enables me to better explain such things to others.
It is good for us to expose ourselves to things that challenge us and make us grow. Some may not think reading a book by a Christian author and pastor is much of a stretch for a Christian, but I assure you it is, given the variety of “christian” interpretations of issues available today.
Leap year lesson #257 is Read something that challenges your beliefs.