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Welcome to the cyber center for biblical studies. Hi. My name is herb bateman.
Today today we want to review a book entitled the cure what if god isnt you think he is and neither are you written by john lynch. Bruce mcnichol. And bill thrall.
Today. We have with us. Mike hunts senior pastor at pleasant view bible church.
Here in northern indiana to review. And give us some insight into this book entitled the cure mike welcome thanks. Herb hey so interesting title love the subtitle.
What if god isnt who you think he is and neither are you what a provocative title. So whats the thesis of this book. So the thesis of the book at the at a nutshell essentially is most of us christians have been taught or weve assumed we envision god as as angry with us.
Most of the time as dissatisfied with us we tend to view ourselves through our sin and through our failings and we assume that a holy god must do so 10 times more than we do and so we tend to view god as somebody who loves us because he has to and its in his character to love us. But who doesnt really like us all that much and so theres this sort of constant battle and tension within us to try to get close to god. But we cant get close to him because of all this messy sin in our life.
And if we could just sin. Less and do more good. Things then we could kind of bridge that gap get a little closer to god we would please him more and he would like us more and the thesis of the book is youre looking for that were looking at it all wrong that we need to look at it through the lens of our position in christ.
Whereby. God could never be more pleased with us than hes pleased with his own son because we have his sons imputed righteousness on our account and thus we need to stop worrying about sinning. Less as heretical as that might sound.
We need to stop worrying so much about sending less and pleasing god more and focus more on loving god and drawing close to him because he loves us so how does he unfold this diseases. How does this how does he take us through to to feeling much more comfortable in our skin with regards to our relationship with him how does he how does he do that so he he provide presents somewhat of a narrative in the opening chapters whereby. A new believer is walking down the road of their christian life and pretty early on in that trip.
Theyre presented with a crossroads a fork in the road. Where they have to pick one or the other and above the one road is a sign that says pleasing god on the other road is a sign that says trusting god and as he sits and thinks about those two hes kind of bothered by the fact that he has to choose one or the other and pretty quickly lands on pleasing god i mean who doesnt want to be pleasing to god that sounds like a really noble goal.
And so he chooses that path and and pretty shortly. He comes upon a closed door with the room behind it. And and above.
The door is a sign that says the room of good intentions. And so he goes into that room and as he goes into that room he notices that everybody is wearing a mask and they quickly give him a mask to put on and so as he begins to ask people how theyre doing in that room. Everybody is very generic and plastic.
Oh. Were doing fine. Oh.
Doing great. Oh. Everythings okay yeah.
Were doing good. And he attempts to be a little bit honest and sincere and acknowledges that everything isnt fine in his life and very quickly. He stopped and kind of they point to the mask.
And he got to keep that mask on got to keep up appearances make sure everybody knows that things going well so he he kind of fits into that mold and he talks about looking over on the horizon and and and seeing god way off in the distance. And theres sort of this banner that you know striving to be all that i can be in order to please god and that feels like such a no goal. But over the course of being in that room for a little bit of time it becomes exhausting.
And he just feels like hes hiding and hes hiding who he is and hes becoming very discouraged at the fact that he cant live up to it to the point where he gets so tired he decides to leave that room. And he goes back to the fork in the road and he still sort of bothered by that other road that says trusting god and he decides he doesnt have any other option. Hes not really thrilled about trusting god what does that even mean you know.
But he decides to go down that road and at the end of that road theres another room and above the door to that room is a sign called the room of grace when he goes into the room of grace. Hes sort of expecting it to be a lot like the previous room. But what he finds are a bunch of people who are comfortable in their own skin.
And when he opens up a bit and shares the realities of what he faces in life and and his failures. They almost kind of laugh at him and say well weve got you beat and they share their own failures. And in essence that the point of it is is that god intended us to live by grace with each other and with him and to the degree that we can be comfortable with the fact that while it in one sense.
Were still sinners in another sense. We are the righteousness of christ.
It enables us to be open with our fellow believers about our lack of measuring up. And it helps us to be comfortable with god and realize that god is not off in the distance avoiding us because he cant stand us in our sin. Hes right there with us and and you know i think the heart of it is when we sin.
Whats our response when were living in the room of good intentions. We typically do what adam and eve did and we run from god and we hide and were ashamed. Whereas.
When were living in the room of grace we draw into the lord we we move toward him. We recognize that hes still right there with us working on our sin together and and were able to really enjoy the relationship by which true holiness flows out of hmm. Know what spurred you to read this book so in our church.
One of the hes teaching. The sunday school class that i was attending had read this book and he brought it up for class discussion and you know not its not just the time the title thats provocative. But a lot of the the theses is sort of a bit provocative and you know it spurred a lot of questions.
A lot of i kind of like that but im not sure i agree with it sort of feelings and emotions it very it is very different from what we typically grow up in in church. And even with what we seem to the lens by which we read scripture. I think and so in addition to that you know and i would highly recommend this to anyone that ive recommended this book to you can you can get a you can hear john lynch.
One of the main authors do a presentation and really cover the gist of this book in about 40 minutes on youtube. If you type in true faced. John lynch and he theres a couple different forums where he presents this information in about 40 to 45 minutes.
And we listen to that in class. And i there was portions of that message that almost brought me to tears. I mean it just really resonates when he talks about how god views us.
Because i have to admit when he talked about viewing god off in the distance loving us. But not liking us. Theres been plenty of times in my life.
Where i have felt that way. And so there was elements of that of that presentation that really struck a chord with me wasnt sure that i agreed with him. But there was a part of it that i thought hes onto something and so i wanted to explore it further was there anything in the book that that it sounds like youve already answered this question.
But something that was significantly insightful that that a lightbulb went on it was like i never thought of that or wow anything staying out in your mind. I think you may have already i have the thing.
Thats you know has taught to me is what ive touched on already that idea of in christ. The righteousness that we have in christ provides us a relationship with god whereby. We dont have to feel alienated from him when we sin that we dont have to feel as though you know ive just so disappointed and let god down again.
Which which you know the the follow up is it just sort of leads to a bunch of you know sin tends to propagate morson. We tend to to you know hide from god stop praying because i envision that hes not listening to me anyways. I feel like im talking to a brick wall.
When i know ive committed sin or when ive had sinful you know attitudes or thought processes for any given a given amount of time and and it sort sort of pulled me away from the lord rather than pulls me into a place where im able to address it i think thats whats stuck with me the most from the book. Okay anything you were disappointed in something you wish he had covered. Yeah you know i still i still walk away with a lot of questions.
I still feel at times like like he presents a side of the argument. Or he brings a side a perspective that is oftentimes lacking and so i think its excellent. Ive recommended the book to several people because i think he presents a side of christianity that we oftentimes forget at the same time some of the things he says in the way that he says them youre kind of left.
Saying. Is he suggesting that it sends no big deal. I know thats not what hes saying.
But you almost leave feeling like hes saying you know we dont need to work on our sin well you know when youre ready gods ready for you. But until then its no big deal you almost get that sense which we certainly dont want to go there. It almost sounds like paul in romans.
He goes to great extent in in five talking about how were justified and then. But does this mean. We sin all the more mega nita may it never be i mean.
That that seems to be the the tension is that what youre sensing. Yeah. And you know he brings the side of the argument.
That says. Theres now no conned nation and we need to live as though theres no condemnation. But i dont really feel like he answers all of the questions.
Okay if this is the proper lens by which i read the scripture passages on sanctification then what about the verses where it says i will give an account for every idle word that i say you know that does seem to say that i need to be careful about sinning less or that i need to because we want in one part of the book he talks about that the grace experiment. Thats not quite what he calls it.
But basically gods gamble with us whereby. What if i treat them this way. What if i tell them that im not keeping track of how many times they pray or dont pray what if i tell them that im not you know holding this lead weight above their head ready to drop the moment they would if i told them that you know they might hurt me.
But ill never hurt them. And he sort of has this list of things to try to emphasize that he cares about he loves us. Hes in a relationship with us and again.
Its kind of like if all of those things are true the way. The author presents them there are still pretty strong admonitions to be careful buff at your bodies. Lest you you know discipline yourself.
Lest. You go down this road. And so elements of working on a disciplined life and being careful with everything you say and do and that we will be brought into judgment and teachers have a stricter condemnation and so on i feel like he doesnt really address that angle of how he reads scripture in light of this perspective.
And so i do feel at times like theres still a big question mark on do i really agree with the book or dont i right so he seems to be focusing on something that perhaps as evangelicals. We dont spend a lot of time on and that is god is gracious he is compassionate he loves us and he knows we blow it yeah and ive recommended this book to a few people who have maybe grown up in the church and theyve walked away and theyre reconsidering coming back. There theyre recognizing that life isnt working trying to live totally apart from and and ive assumed that this book would resonate with them because probably some of why they walked away was feelings of they didnt measure up to everybody else or they envisioned god as somebody who didnt really like them all that much because of the fact that they didnt measure up and and it has resonated.
I you know one individual in particular that ive recommended this book to who fits into that category had a lot of questions when he was done as well he didnt feel i could answer all these questions. But he very much appreciated the book and and i think it brings helps to bring a help a healthy balance to may be our natural legalistic tendency that tries to view life through how much we perform at a certain level hmm. Any other books that that are similar that are helpful or is this something that was just unique.
I mean that this is the first one youve ever seen along these lines. Yeah. I mean i havent explored you know the gamut of whats out there.
But im not aware of anything else that that fits this i mean one other thing about the book that makes it a nice thing to recommend is it is so short its very short you you know you can read it from cover to cover probably in two and a half hours you can buy an audio version of the book on kindle and listen to it in about two hours you can have the whole thing down so it makes it very easy for someone thats considering the christian faith or thats you new in the faith. And you dont want to bog them down with this thick theological textbook. You know this sort of meets.
The bill of something that thats practical for them to read. Okay mike. Thank you so much sure sounds like an excellent book and particularly since theres so many audio versions of it excellent for someone who particularly doesnt like to read and yet could be walk away fully challenged by it the cure.
What if god isnt who you think he is and neither are you i hope youll pick it up read. It and come to realize that our god does love us. Does concern is concerned for us has a great deal of compassion for us and wants us to have a relationship with him thank you so much for joining us.
And i trust that you will be a blessing to all those that you come in contact with today thank you music you .
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