“Unconditional?” Book Thoughts

I’ve really enjoyed reading through the book “Unconditional?”!  It’s been a challenging book for us and for any Christian.  Because we do book series every so often I wanted to give you my thoughts on this book.  Just because we look at a book and go through it on Sunday’s doesn’t mean we have to agree with everything in it.

While I am largely impressed with the book there were a couple of things that jumped out to me that I didn’t necessarily agree with.  So here’s a dozen quick thoughts on the book…I’d love for you to post your opinion:

1. I thought the opening chapters of this book were some of the most compelling that I’ve read in a long time.  His use of real stories that asked the question of the possiblity of forgiveness challenges everyone who reads.

2.  I think the opening 6 chapters of the book were great.  Chapters 7-10 I felt like it lost a lot of steam as there were less stories and more opinions of his.

3.  My favorite modern story of his was in Chapter 5 with the Amish group that forgave the gunmen and was so welcoming and accepting of the gunman’s family.

4. I believe that he is very biblical when it comes to how we are to be a forgiving people and even to love our enemies.  I think it was insightful when he tells us that enemies can sometimes point out truths about us that our friends wouldn’t or couldn’t.

5. I don’t think he deals with the pain/severity of sin.  There is always a consequence to sin.  And I feel like this was glossed over in the book.

6. He doesn’t deal with an unrepentant vs. a repentant sinner.  If someone is repentant that means they turn from their sin.  If unrepentant, they continue in a lifestyle or pattern of sin.  Should our response be different if the person is unrepentant or repentant?  This would have been a valuable discussion.

7.  One of the functions of both God’s Law and our law today is to be a Curb (to curb our behavior).  It works like this: “If I speed, I will get a ticket, therefore I don’t speed because I don’t want a ticket.”  Just because we forgive doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences for the person who committed that sin.

8. It’s okay to fight for what is right.  I understand his point he was making in the Us. Vs. Them Chapter 7, but at times God calls us to defend the cause of the poor, the abused, the widow, etc.  If people are deliberately sinning against another group of people, sometimes we have to step in and defend what we believe to be right, as long as it is in agreement with God’s Word.

9. He says “don’t take sides” but then appears to take a liberal viewpoint only bashing conservatives, especially in Chapter 7.  I’m not saying anything negative about liberals or conservatives, simply saying that if he’s going to say not to take sides, he shouldn’t use examples and illustrations only benefitting one side over the other.

10.  To me, it seems like he uses words like revenge and retaliation as synonyms to the word “justice.”  I don’t think that’s fair.

11.  In Chapter 8, I think it’s funny he says that churches don’t preach about the Sermon on the Mount because they are uncomfortable doing it.  I actually think in large part he is right, but we just spent 20 weeks on that sermon series and in my opinion, I think it was probably the best series that we’ve done to date.

12.  I love what he says about forgiveness: that it’s not an emotion, but an act of the will.  He says it doesn’t mean we have to forget.  It’s about seeking to end that cycle of revenge and entrust it into the hands of God, who we believe will enact better justice than we could.  And his justice is all about the Cross and the forgiveness that he has won for us!

Advertisements

One thought on ““Unconditional?” Book Thoughts

  1. I also found that the author ran out of things to say in the later chapters, hence there were several statements repeated word for word. That being said, I still found the message to be a good one…I should not be complacent because I am a Christian, I must strive to “be Christian” which includes forgiving those who have trespassed against me as I seek forgiveness.
    .
    I think that the word “justice” is often used improperly. When lawyers say they are fighting for “justice” for their clients they usually mean they are looking for big money, punishment for having made a product that caused harm, or acting in some way that caused harm. Do I think that those who cause harm should be called to task for what they have done? Certainly, but I don’t think that giving large sums of money to a family will make things right if they have suffered the loss of a loved one.

    Because I truly believe that we all have a time to die, and that we can only affect how well we live, my eldest daughter once asked me if that meant that I would not be upset if someone killed her. I answered that of course I would be upset that someone caused her death, that she didn’t go peacefully in her sleep. I would accept her death as God’s plan, and I would leave it up to the authorities to deal with the cause. I might even be mad at God for not letting me go first. The injustices in the world happen to show us that we must be ever vigilant, God takes care of us, but HE does expect us to do our part, and we must leave justice to Him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s