Live Like Jesus {A Cross Focused Reviews Review}

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:

  1. We cannot dismiss different perspectives simply  because they are different.  We must test ideas against scripture.
  2. We do not put enough emphasis on the resurrection of Christ.
  3. We cannot make ourselves better by “trying harder.”
  4. Our sin problem is at the very core of our being.  Being as sinner is not what I do.  It’s who I am.
  5. 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.

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