Born Free ), a Presbyterian sem"/>

A SCANDALOUS FREEDOM: Exploring Christian Liberty

Steve Brown, Author, Stephen W. Brown, Author . Howard $14.99 (264p) ISBN 978-1-58229-392-9

The best radio-show hosts speak not to a group of people but to individuals—listeners feel the show is just for them. Brown (Born Free ), a Presbyterian seminary professor, former pastor and host of the Key Life radio program, uses that approach to fine effect as he encourages Christians to celebrate their absolute freedom. Conversational, lighthearted and full of funny lines (and a few urban legends presented as fact), Brown's writing nevertheless conveys deep truth: believers too often stagger beneath a burden of behavior forced on them by other Christians, a standard that God does not require. "I fear too often the church has become an organization of guilty people with a guilty preacher standing in the pulpit, telling guilty people that they should feel guiltier," he writes. The oppressed and their oppressors miss the power of authenticity, especially the freedom to fail, the joy of God's complete forgiveness and the boldness it brings. God's liberty also lets Christians embrace those with whom they disagree. Brown illustrates the point in one of his best anecdotes, recalling his relationship with Tony Campolo. Brown's honesty about his own failings drives his points home. This book has the power to help Christian believers who have been struggling to march in a straight line to leap up and dance. (July 6)

Reviewed on: 06/14/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004
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