The Grace Awakening - Chuck Swindoll

Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by Ben W, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Just wondering if anyone else has read "The Grace Awakening" by Charles Swindoll?

    This book would go very close to being the best modern Christian book that I have read. We talk alot about Grace, yet how many of us really understand what it is and what can happen to our lives when we begin to actually live in it!
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Good book and Swindoll makes some excellent points. My only problem is that he tends to treat those whom he terms "legalist" with the same unloving attitude whith which he says they act.
     
  3. aefting

    aefting
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    I think it is one of the most dangerous and, unfortunately, also one of the most influential books written in the 20th century. Southside Baptist in Greenville departed from Fundamentalism to unashamed New Evangelicalism through the influence of this book. I have seen the same thing happen to a church planter in the Baltimore area. I would not recommend it to anybody.

    Andy
     
  4. PastorGreg

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    C4K, I have noticed that often among New Evangelicals and those leaning that way. Because fundamentalists are mean and nasty and unkind, it's ok to be mean and nasty and unkind to them. Good Biblical reasoning there. As for Swindoll's book - I basically agree with Andy. While Swindoll is a gifted Bible teacher, in areas like this we have to remember that some of his positions are reactionary to what he calls the legalistic upbringing that he had - so his pendulum has swung the other way to where he comes very close to defining grace as license.
     
  5. All about Grace

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    Very influential book that has been used to set free a number of former legalists (including me). My personal experience is that those who fear the book feel more comfortable in the bondage of rules-based living.

    An even better book is Phillip Yancey's "What's So Amazing about Grace"
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    That seems to be the kind of spirit engendered by this book, "if you are not as "liberated" as I am you love your bondage." And I thought the "legalists" were supposed to be the judgemental ones.

    I don't favour "rules based living." Swindoll makes some good points, but his words for those with whom he disagrees are at least has harsh as the attitude he accuses them of having.
     
  7. All about Grace

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    Which is why I preferenced my words with "my personal experience".

    I could not find where I said I was more "liberated" than anyone nor that anyone loved their bondage. Simply put, legalism is simply easier for some. It provides concrete lists.
     
  8. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    That is still an unfair generalisation - that those who accept certain standards of holy living have taken the easy road.

    I am totally opposed to "legalised living." My point remains that Swindoll is no better than them when he resorts to their tactics.
     
  9. All about Grace

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    Legalism is never the easy road.

    And indeed legalism extends beyond "certain standards of holy living". One can be a legalist in realms other than standards of living. External standards is simply one avenue where legalism can be judged more clearly.
     
  10. All about Grace

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    By the way I would say that it would be difficult for Swindoll to characterize legalism w/o coming across the way he does. It is hard to point out the judgmentalism of others w/o appearing to be judgmental. The only thing one is left to do is to call the kettle black, which is what Swindoll attempts to do in Grace Awakening. I still prefer Yancey's book.
     
  11. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    We must be careful that what some may call external standards are not confused with Bible based living.

    For example - I will not see a movie that has any sex, nudity, or gratuitous violence. I do this for Biblical reasons. Should this be judged as what Swindoll calls legalism?

    I beleive that the Bible teaches the principle of total abstainance from alcoholic beverages therefore I do not partake, of even a social drink. Is this to be judged as legalism?

    We cannot be bound by "taste not, touch not, handle not," but sometimes living by what one perceives as Bible standard is judged as doing so.

    We can never know the heart of person who chooses to live by what he sees as Bible standards.

    My problem, once again, comes not so much from what Swindoll says, but the attitude with which he says it.

    (BTW, AAG, thank you for the tone of this debate [​IMG] )
     
  12. Debby in Philly

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    I've always thought that legalism and worldly living were two sides of the same coin.

    The worldly person doesn't have to think - anything is OK.
    The legalist doesn't have to think - almost anything is wrong - just check the list.

    But the person in the middle, trying to really understand what scripture teaches and how it applies to everyday choices, must read the Word, think, seek the Holy Spirit, and decide.
     
  13. All about Grace

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    For example - I will not see a movie that has any sex, nudity, or gratuitous violence. I do this for Biblical reasons. Should this be judged as what Swindoll calls legalism?

    I beleive that the Bible teaches the principle of total abstainance from alcoholic beverages therefore I do not partake, of even a social drink. Is this to be judged as legalism?

    Only if you make this standard a criterion for spirituality (or lack thereof) in other believer's lives who may or may not have the same standard.
     
  14. Turpius

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    and I think that is part of Roger's point about Swindoll.
     
  15. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    No, I would never make this "criterion for spirituality" but I will preach the Bible principles behind my decision.
     
  16. aefting

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    Can a person be Spiritual, i.e., lead by the Spirit, if he is not applying Biblical principles to his life?

    Andy
     
  17. All about Grace

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    The principle itself and the application thereof are two distinct matters. Principles are constant -- application differs.
     

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