Both/And, Part 2

Both-And: Living the Christ-Centered Life in an Either-Or World by Rich Nathan and Insoo Kim has been a refreshing read. It leaves me challenged.

Nathan takes on the really hard things we just don’t like to talk about. He discusses reaching out to and loving the homosexual community. There is something for everyone there to love… and hate. His conclusions are his convictions, but I’m pretty sure the “either/or” world that exists on both sides of this issue won’t like his honest conversation.

He tackles women in ministry. He leaves no hot potato untouched, really.

The approach is trying to live out Christ in this world as we hear the voice of the Spirit and work to remain obedient to the revelation given to us.

The context of pastoring his own church and working this out makes it much more readable for me. He isn’t talking theory. He isn’t sitting in an academic office somewhere thinking this up. He is tackling it in his context. It is refreshing to read in that way.

I think these voices are worth listening to in this day, even though no one is very good at listening right now.

It’s a Both/And World

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.