Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Questions to All Your Answers

With a title like Questions to All Your Answers, how could I not get this and read it? Roger Olson, the book's author, sets out to examine some spiritual cliches that are often spouted by what he calls "folk Christianity." These are statements that are often made by well meaning Christians that aren't quite right. The statements are as follows:

  • "It's a mystery, just accept it."
  • "God is in control."
  • "Jesus is the answer."
  • "The Bible has all the answers."
  • "God has a perfect plan for your life."
  • "God helps those who help themselves."
  • "Jesus is coming soon."
  • "All sins are equal."
  • "Judge not."
  • "Money isn't bad, but only what we do with it."

Do any of those make you squirm? They made me squirm. I'm guilty of uttering a few of them. As a matter of fact, if you listen to the sermons I'm posting on this blog, you probably heard me utter one of them from the pulpit recently. Needless to say, I was curious what Olson would have to say about each of these.

He doesn't demolish them but he certainly kicks at their supports. In many cases, he points out how the principles and ideas behind these cliches really aren't Biblical. And while he doesn't throw all of them out in the end, he points out that blindly holding on to them and throwing them into debates usually isn't helpful because it leads people to hold unexamined beliefs about Christianity, some of them blatantly wrong.

Now down't get me wrong, I disagreed with Olson on a few points in the book. That comes from our differing theological backgrounds. But overall, I think this book is a great correction to some of the cliches and attitudes that have popped up in contemporary Christianity. I know personally, I really appreciated what he had to say about God's will for a person's life. That chapter alone made this a worthy read.

So do you dare see what questions Olson has to all of your answers? You might just have to do some thinking, and in the long run, that's not a bad thing.

No comments: