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Tags: in good faith | book | review

'In Good Faith' Book Offers Fresh Insights for Evangelicals

'In Good Faith' Book Offers Fresh Insights for Evangelicals
(Feng Yu/Dreamstime.com)

Steve Gruber By Thursday, 08 November 2018 11:55 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

I am pleased to recommend "In Good Faith: Question Religion and Atheism" by Scott A. Shay (Post Hill Press, 2018) to both conservative, liberal, and emergent church Christians within our community.

This is no small feat. While we are holding strong as a community compared to other Christian communities, the gap between different parts of our Evangelical movement is widening. Unfortunately the gap is tearing us apart us. This is despite all we share, above all through our faith in Jesus.

Shay’s book written from the perspective of a Jew incorporates the voices of Christians and Muslims and brings fresh insights to all of us across the spectrum of the Evangelical community. It also sheds light on what we share with our Jewish brethren.

"In Good Faith" will appeal to those who identify with the emergent church or as liberal evangelicals for several reasons. Like Adam Hamilton’s "Making Sense of the Bible" it addresses head on the challenges to biblical authority levied by atheists.

Shay’s book is an outstandingly academically researched work. He reviews for us the whole gamut of biblical criticism. He also presents his readers with the latest in quantum physics and biology in a refreshingly enjoyable style. Liberals should truly embrace his fearless discussion of all the challenges they have called the church to confront.

The work will also appeal to conservative evangelicals. Because of its courageous dialogue with academic and scientific writings, Scott’s defense of the divinity of the Bible and the centrality of faith is one of the most compelling I have read. Over and over again he shows that science and the academy itself far from disproving God, actually challenge the truth and wisdom of Scripture far less that secular and atheist critics would have you believe.

There is no academic proof to claim the bible is a man-made document, nor is there an academic reason to say that science disproves God. This needs to be explained particularly to our children who attend secular universities and are too often mislead to believe this falsehood.

"In Good Faith" will please liberals in other ways. Shay also does not shy away from some of the toughest questions about the history Christianity (and all monotheistic faiths), whether it be its racism, its violence or its sexism. For many young Christians the legacy of racism in this country is hard to reconcile with the proud faith of Southern churches. But unlike secularists conservatives will be pleased that Scott explains the Bible itself foresaw these abuses.

Shay’s book reminds us to look at the central message of the Bible the condemnation of idolatry. It is the key point in the Old Testament and Jesus and his Disciples repeat it over and over again in The New Testament. As Scott explains, Idolatry is deifying any person, thing, or idea. As she writes it is humanity’s default. As we read in Corinthians (10:14) “flee from idolatry.” Or 1 John (5:21) “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” Scott shows how idolatry has not diminished in this world and has become even more empowered by modern false ideologies.

Modern dictators are no different than the Pharaohs of old building statues for themselves and proclaiming special powers. But even we Christians succumb to idolatry every time we fear other human beings more than God. This includes religious leaders.

Shay teaches us to read the second commandment “Do not take the Lord’s name in vain” as an extension of the prohibition against idolatry. Anytime one particular Christian claims to speak for God in a way that contradicts the Scriptures we are taking the Lord’s name in vain. Anytime we justify injustice and cruelty in the name of the Lord, we are taking His name in vain. Scott shows how all of Abraham’s children must be united in this fight. Scott’s work showcases his unique Jewish perspective through his focus on the Old Testament and Prophets, and the echoes his message can have with Christians.

Scott’s defense of belief is also a whirlwind tour of world history, an exploration of modern psychology and neuroscience, a study of modern physics, and an analysis of archeology that will keep you reading. While it is a long book, it is divided into many chapters and sub headings so there is always a place within a few pages to take a pause. It is one of the best books out there for young people struggling with faith. It will also delight those who are firm in their faith with new insights from the Scriptures themselves.

Steve Gruber is a conservative talk show host with 25 affiliates in Michigan. "The Steve Gruber Show" launched in 2012 with just four affiliates and has grown into the most powerful name in talk radio across Michigan. Steve has been named “Best Morning Personality” by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters five years in a row. His conservative, common-sense philosophy was developed during his time growing up in rural Michigan. Steve’s early career found him in several newsrooms including WILX, Lansing where he honed his investigative journalism and interviewing skills. He became the main news anchor of the station and before long was offered a job with NBC in Columbus, Ohio. While working for NBC, he covered the incredible launch of John Glenn, age 77, into space at Cape Canaveral, White Supremacists in Ohio, and the deadly game of selling prescription medication online. Steve was nominated for an Emmy in 2000. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.

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I am pleased to recommend "In Good Faith: Question Religion and Atheism" by Scott A. Shay (Post Hill Press, 2018) to both conservative, liberal, and emergent church Christians within our community.
in good faith, book, review
Thursday, 08 November 2018 11:55 AM
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