Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Book Review: True Religion

True Religion
Taking Pieces of Heaven to Places of Hell on Earth
By Palmer Chinchen

True Religion is a Christian Living book about missional living and getting out of your comfort zone to share Christ in the hard places. Author Palmer Chinchen focuses on God's heart to relieve poverty and injustice, and His desire to use believers to be His hands and feet in this battle. He also highlights the fact that believers who choose to step out of their comfort zones by reaching out to others often find their own lives impacted in huge ways.

This book was a challenging read for me. There were many parts I found myself wholeheartedly agreeing with, but also many parts that I had issues with. This book is filled with emotional true stories of human injustices taking place in our world today. I found myself drawn to these stories - shocked, amazed, saddened, and wanting to be a part of helping. Yet Chinchen focuses largely on getting you to step up, get involved and do something to fix problems, and seems to miss the fact that true, ultimate freedom comes through Jesus Christ and the Gospel message. He spends so much time motivating you to ACT, that he overlooks the importance of sharing the Gospel. This is dangerous ground to walk on in today's culture of social action. As believers, we must remember that simply alleviating an oppression or injustice without focusing on the saving of souls leaves a person in only a better position here on earth while leaving them to suffer an eternity without God.

I did appreciate Chinchen's appeal for believers to participate in international mission trips. He spent a lot of time discussing the life change that takes place when we find ourselves out of our comfort zones in an international context. Having experienced this numerous times myself, I agreed with him and was thankful for his compelling arguments to get believers onto the mission field.

Overall, I found True Religion to be a great motivator to get someone to take action and step onto the mission field, but I really wished the book focused more on God's purpose for missions, which is NOT just to solve social problems. I would be very careful with who I recommended this book to and would make sure the person already had a solid understanding of God's heart for missions.

I received this book for free from The B&B Media Group in exchange for my honest review.

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