Rich Nathan and Insoo Kim have written Both-And: Living the Christ-Centered Life in an Either-Or World, which is, of course, one more book I wish I had written first. Instead, I blog on this stuff and give it away for free… but I digress…
IVP sent me this book for review and I am not under any obligation for a positive review.
I am still working my way through this book, but want to make a few key observations in the early stages.
1. It IS a worthwhile read. They have been working these issues out within the context of church ministry and I always appreciate that view. The practitioners always have a special place in my heart. I want to work out “both/and” in my own ministry context, so I love hearing from those who are in that same path.
2. They do what most of us as evangelicals do these days: We over-apologize for being evangelical. They have a much longer list of “This is what we’re NOT” than the list of “This is what we ARE.” The political climate today has dictated this stance, so I can’t blame them.
3. I am glad they kept things positive on “charismatic,” since that is what they are, and there was much less apologizing for that stance. They demonstrated the need for the experience of the Spirit and it was refreshing to read a positive stance on Charismatics. This is truly a time for the Pentecostal/Charismatic church and we need more positive examples than the negative stereotypes.
4. They put in their own struggles. When they spoke to the issues of diversity, they told their own story with the church in Columbus, Ohio. Not all things go smoothly and I appreciate their transparency.
I think this is a day when the Body of Christ can really stand out as different than the world. We can demonstrate a “both/and” position when it comes to so many biblical terms.
In our deeply divided culture, this is where the Body of Christ should shine. Yet, we have the divisiveness just as deeply as this culture.
This book is a breath of fresh air and holds out the hope of a better possibility.