What is a Christian ? What is the Church ?
These are questions that face every pastor, preacher, Christian worker and everyone who professes to follow Jesus Christ. What is a Christian ? What is the Church ?
Other questions flow from them. What is an evangelical ? What is the gospel ? What is salvation ? Is evangelicalism a style ? A culture ? A current ? A movement ?
In this book Paul Washer takes us back to the Bible, and not just by quoting proof texts but by looking closely at what the Bible says when it speaks of salvation, of the Christian's nature and life and of the people of God.
And it's a very good book. It deals with guilt, not just as feelings but as fact. It deals with repentance, not just as feelings of sorrow but as a radical change of heart and mind and life. It deals with the call to discipleship and to serve Christ as Lord. It deals with the believers incorporation into the people of God. It scratches us where we itch.
It's a very wise book. Washer doesn't confront individuals or cite situations or name names, but he does confront the way evangelicalism thinks today and presents a biblical understanding of the grace of God in Christ.
I am sure the book will do a lot of good. How much good depends on the authority the reader gives to the Bible. Sadly sometimes lip-service is done to Biblical authority - so that where the Scriptures confront our way of thinking in the end we are judge and the Eternal Word is subject to my changing thoughts, attitudes, opinions and fancies. History shows that it was ever so.
Faced with that we are often swimming against the tide. It's hard to avoid drift. We need help, the occasional rope to cling on to to help us get back on track.
So all power to Paul Washer. May God use this book and others like it to purify our hearts and minds.
If you consider yourself to be, or aspire to be an evangelical Christian I strongly urge you to read this book slowly and thoughtfully, and to let it click you back, reset you, restore you to a more biblical view of God, man and the Good News of the Grace of God in Jesus Christ.