Sometimes I struggle to connect my faith that i have in my heart and head with the actions that I find myself taking each day. So, when Live Like Jesus came up from review, I thought that the title sounded intriguing, and I decided to request a copy.
In this book, Putman discusses the gospel message, and attempts to present a new perspective on the gospel that is bigger and more sensational than what we can imagine. He examines Romans 6-8 in light of the realizations that he has had about the gospel message, and shows you ways that you can live like Jesus too.
I have to start off talking about this book by admitting that this book is a charismatic work. If you’ve read my blog for more than five minutes, you know that I lean towards reformed theology, so as you can imagine, I found lots to disagree with Putman about.
However, I do agree with Putman on this:
It is easy to dismiss a different perspective about how sin affects our relationship with God because it is not how we are used to processing the meaning of Scripture. I understand that, and I do think we need a compelling reason to ever reconsider a central tenant of our faith. That being said, any frame of theology that does not match what is clearly written in scripture must be rethought too.
Although I do think some of the things that he says disagrees with scripture, I also think that there are plenty of things that Putman gets right.
Here are some of the things:
- We cannot dismiss different perspectives simply because they are different. We must test ideas against scripture.
- We do not put enough emphasis on the resurrection of Christ.
- We cannot make ourselves better by “trying harder.”
- Our sin problem is at the very core of our being. Being as sinner is not what I do. It’s who I am.
- Adam and Eve’s sin gave Satan dominion over the earth.
I could keep going,but I’m not going to here. As you can see, I found plenty of areas of agreement with Putman. I disagreed with what he said about repentance. I believe that Jesus’s message is one of repentance, and that the apostolic writings confirm that. I think that he pits Paul’s writings of grace against John, Peter, Jesus and the Old Testament writings. I think he’s often not seeing the forest for the trees. I think this leads him into heretical territory.
I disagree that, as a believer, I am fully dead to my sin nature. I struggle every day, and I don’t interpret Romans the way that he does. I just can’t agree with him.
I really struggled with how to recommend this book or not, and I found that I could not recommend it because I believe that the content is, at times, heretical. This is a well written book, and he knows at the outset that many are going to disagree with him. I am one of those people. I don’t see the gospel the way he does. I was entertained throughout the reading because his examples, stories and word pictures are perfection. I liked this book, even as I disagreed with many of the core tenets that he discussed. In fact, I loved his dandelion example for sin in our lives so much that I added it to the notes in my Bible. This was a challenging read, and I am glad I read it because reading from perspectives we disagree with often sharpen and challenge our own faith.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Cross-Focused Reviews. It has not influenced my review, and I am giving my honest opinions on this book. I have not received any payment for this review.