Out of the Comfort Zone
The sub-title says it all: ‘Is your God too nice?’ Those who think that recent debates on the nature of the atonement have lost sight of God’s anger will find plenty to cheer about here. R T Kendall deals with fear, divine sovereignty, hell, the devil, punishment, sin, and other similarly challenging topics, and proposes that God should be more terrifying than comforting to a generation that has lost its way. Indeed, he sees this as offering inspiration for Christian living as well as a proper motivation for evangelism in the wider culture. The last chapter (‘26 reasons you may be a Pharisee’) is out of place, though: after putting forward a pretty uncompromising view of Christian faith, it is a surprise to see that such things as ‘pointing the finger’, ‘taking ourselves too seriously’ and ‘loving to score theological points’ are included in the marks of Pharisaism.
High point: Takes scripture seriously.
Low point: Clearly getting at Steve Chalke and his supporters, but avoids controversy by not actually saying so.
Hodder & Stoughton
Reviewed by John Drane, the author of The McDonaldization of the Church.