Wednesday, April 28, 2010

10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe

A friend of mine gave me the book 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe by Larry Osborne. In the book Osborne explains 10 myths that many Christians believe, but which fail to align with the truths of the Bible and how God made things to work.

Some examples include:
- Faith can fix anything
- Forgiving means forgetting
- A godly home guarantees good kids
- God brings good luck
Osborne does a great job of clearly explaining each myth and showing how the myth falls short of truth. He also details how believing the myths lead Christians to conclusions and behaviors that leave them confused, angry, or alienated from God. There were a couple chapters that I didn't agree with, and I don't think Osborne completely sways the reader with all his arguments, but overall I enjoyed the book.

Here's some things I underlined and enjoyed:
* For most of us, beliefs are intellectual. Acting upon them is optional.
* The kind of faith the Bible advocates and God wants from us has far more to do with our actions than our feelings.
* Faith is primarily about trusting God enough to do what he says.
* Few of us would mess with our boss's stated preferences. What kind of fool messes with God?
* Forgiveness is a decision lived out as a lengthy process.
* God's pattern of forgiveness retains earthly consequences while offering a genuine opportunity for restoration and productivity.
* We have an amazing ability to undercut our own misdeeds while multiplying the wrongdoing of others.
* If we convince others to change their behavior without loving Jesus first, all we've done is populate hell with nicer and more moral people.
* The early church understood that their job was not to judge and condemn the pagans around them. Their job was to win them over.
* A miracle needs a mess.

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