It’s not every day that you get an e-mail from a well known Christian author and speaker. (OK, maybe that does happen to you everyday, but it certainly doesn’t for me). So, when I got an e-mail from Tullian Tchividjian, best selling Christian author, speaker, grandson of Billy Graham, and owner of a name you can’t pronounce… I was both thrilled and worried.
Thrilled at the opportunity to read it pre-release for review here…
and worried, because I’m not a fan of most of the “Christian” books which hit the shelves these days.
Could I be honest and bash what I felt to be a bad book or bad theology by someone who had been gracious enough to personally send it to me? I’m afraid I could be, and while I can no more compete with Tullian’s popularity than I could his tan, I knew I’d have to.
Let me make this review as succinct as possible:
You need to read this book. Correction, you need to read this book and tell other people to read this book. I have no tie to the author or the publisher, but I hope you buy a dozen copies of this book and give them away to your closest friends.
Because at this point in the churches history (even, especially in the reformed community), this message is desperately needed.
I may not win any friends for saying this, but here’s why we need this book and we need it now:
For the last several years, we’ve gotten a steady diet of the call to be radical. Now I get it, I really, really love guys like Francis Chan and David Platt. Their example and plea to get off the sidelines and live in light of the gospel is not only necessary, it’s GOOD. But many young brothers and sisters went the wrong way (like our hearts are prone to do) and took these good examples as law… and soon began to question me on whether they were being “radical” enough. (To the point of questioning their “fruit” and very regeneration).
Again, no matter how much I emphasize that I don’t think guys like David Platt were advocating this AT ALL, it’s where it was taken. In conversation, young brothers were struggling with whether or not they were “radical enough” or whether they needed to be reckless to be radical. Law does what it does, and it condemned.
As I struggled through this with friends, I had to work through law and grace with each of them. I remember thinking, “If we could somehow get ‘Law and Gospel’ to the masses, we could battle this problem.”
“One Way Love” is exactly that book. I know Tullian to be a gifted communicator (Jesus+Nothing=Everything is an outstanding book), but the handling of Law and Gospel in this book is masterful. While it’s the bread and butter theology of confessional Lutherans, it’s not something you expect to see in a (no offense) popular Christian title. Yet, here it is, in perfect form.
In an era where brothers and sisters are discovering the doctrines of grace and working out from a purpose-driven evangelical mindset, I’ve seen the struggle as one set of law is exchanged for another. This book contains both the full weight of the law and the beautiful freedom of the gospel.
At the risk of sounding flippant, this is Walther’s Law and Gospel, within reach of the masses.
I give this book the highest recommendation I can give….
I’ll be giving this to my teen daughters and buying copies for their friends.
(By the way, Tchividjian rhymes with “religion”. Knowing that will win you major points at the next conference… you don’t want to be the other guy; the one that rhymes Sproul with owl)