Modest – R.W. Glenn & Tim Challies
Well, it was bound to happen. I finally read a book published by Cruciform press that I did not like. That book was Modest: Men And Women Clothed In The Gospel. I think the premise of the book is wonderful. I think we need an open discussion of all kinds of virtues that is influenced by the Gospel and leads to recovering righteousness from the dual sins of legalism and antinomianism. That is the reason for these two authors writing this short book. I applaud that effort. I welcome with open arms this discussion.
To the authors’ credit they do a fair job at this through the first half of the book. Beginning in the fourth chapter however they take a really weird and strange turn. In that chapter they explain the two tendencies of Christian’s dealing with culture in broad terms of either demonizing culture and standing against it, or idolizing and clinging to our legalistic tendencies.
They then insert a third way of dealing with culture into the equation and this is where they veer off course. They create the category of divinization, which they identify as elevating culture over Scripture. Now to be fair, this does go on in vast realms of contemporary so called Christianity, and it has since Pentecost. But their example for this trend is just a cheap shot at a book and pastor these two men do not seem to like nor understand. The book they decide to highlight here is Real Marriage by Mark & Grace Driscoll. This ill placed critique and criticism almost makes this book unreadable for me. They claim that this book looks to culture as the starting point and not scripture, when in fact the book uses scripture as its basis for everything. Anyone that really looks into Pastor Mark Driscoll’s knows this fidelity to scripture is a hallmark of his life and ministry. I think the reason these two authors have such a problem with recognizing this or perhaps more accurately admitting that they recognize this is that the natural offense of the scripture bares open their own legalism.
This unwillingness to see or admit and repent of their own sin has led them to muddying what could be a good book. I am slightly shocked that the editors at Cruciform did not edit out this unneeded and immature section of the book.
I encourage you to read the book and decide for yourself. Keep the good parts, lose or ignore the bad.
I received this book in ebook form from the publisher, Cruciform, for the purpose of review with no requirement to write a positive review.