Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chasing Elephants by Brent Crowe

Chasing Elephants: Wrestling With the Gray Areas of Life by Brent Crowe is presented as a common sense instruction manual covering the basic moral questions that so many people raise. This book bases its common sense answers to timely, yet controversal moral issues such as entertainment, traditions, social drinking, the internet and homosexuality, based on biblical interpretation.  If anyone  takes time to read and understand the bible's message, specifically the new testament letters, the reader will understand that morals are not relative, but absolute.  Furthermore our Christian conscious, led by the Holy Spirit of God, will convict us if we are not acting in accordance with God's standards.  By no means can we merit salvation, neverthless this is not an excuse to do away with out pursuit to follow the spirit in doing what is right.  While we are free from punishment under the law, we are not permitted to continue to sin when we know its wrong- hence this book.  Another consideration, especially for newer believers in the faith- is that their faith and knowledge may be weaker than a more established believer in the faith- and if our faith is stronger we should take care not to offend or become an obsticle to the weaker faith of our Christian brothers and sisters, as described by Romans.

There is one difficult thing that I have trouble reconciling in  Brent's Crow's book.  It is ironic that in a book discussing the gray areas of life he should include the following statement on page 153: "I'm a Mother Teresa fan.  I can't help it.  It doesn't matter if all of our beliefs match up in just the same way or whether or not we interpret certain Scripture the same. That's irrelevant..."  Then, if in his own words, it's "irrelevant" and "It doesn't matter if all our beliefs match up" then what is the point in even following Crowe's book if we simply chalk it up to Crow's personal way of interpreting scripture?  If  this is the case, then by what authority can Crowe claim that he is properly interpreting controversial gray areas of scripture such as homosexuality, special days, idols, and entertainment?  Mother Teresa was a devout and sincere Catholic, who accomplished many works for the good of humankind, no doubt. Religious as well as secular people agree.  But she also believed in Roman Catholic doctrines such as transubstantiation, infant baptism, and the intecession of Mary, as well as praying to Mary- who is considered to be "Queen of Heaven" and Mother of God", and "without sin".  Many of these doctrines are not biblical whatsoever.  And countless numbers of Roman Catholics, deluded into the worship of idols and statues and imperfect human beings, are estranging themselves from the will and Grace of God.  We are called to worship not only in Spirit but also in truth as well.  Therefore, Crowe's statement left me feeling  somewhat confised as if this book, was contradicting itself.  Pehaps this is an attempt at the ecumenical movement, to minimize differences in order to draw others into faith.  Nevertheless we are never to comprimise the gospel message as Paul warns us in his letters.  The ancient as well as modern church was plagued with false teachers who twisted truth or watered down the Gospel to gain the acceptance of its hearers.  In Revelation, the ancient- as well as modern church- is severely warned about being lukewarm and watering down the message of the bible so as to make it more palatable.
In the end, I must say I liked most of what this book had to say, but that single statement/ admission by the author was a bit of a spoiler.  I believe it served to undermine the credibility of Crowe's work. This is the second book by Nav Press that I have read which overtly perpetuated non biblical, Roman Catholic doctrine- which suprises me as Nav Press purports itself to be a bible based publisher.  As a blogger for Nav Press publishers I recieved a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review. 

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