Wednesday, May 18, 2011

(Review) Love Written in Stone

image Love Written in Stone: Finding God’s Grace in the Boundaries He Sets by Philip Carlson, MD

Book Description:

“Many Christians don't know what to think of the Bible's commands, as they often seem legalistic and burdensome. But medical doctor Philip Carlson reveals that God instructs us because he loves us as a father loves his children. Recent research in the health sciences demonstrates that following God's guidelines produces wellness and wholeness in our lives. Readers will be encouraged to learn that the sciences are catching up to what God has been saying all along about family relationships, nutrition, sexuality, rest, and more.”

Book Review:

I was really looking forward to reading this book when I first received it, and then somehow it ended up on the behind my side table. Thankfully I rediscovered it and after opening the book up for the first time, I realized how much this book had to offer for me.

Carlson breaks the book down into four main sections: Relationship with God, Relationship with Others, Healthier Self and Relationship with Creation. He covers issues from forgiveness, sex, sleep & rest, family, stewardship and more and the benefits that come following Biblical directives as well as some of the consequences of not.

With both a pastoral and medical perspective, Carlson has a unique position to discuss the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical benefits of obedience without over-simplifying or over-complicating the issues.

In a culture thriving on a false prosperity gospel, I was a little concerned about what position Carlson might take, but he did a great job revealing the blessings of obedience without diminishing the cost of obedience or the effects of sin in our life, world, relationships and heart.

Carlson begins his book reminding us “it is not necessarily the case that doing what God asks will always impact us positively. Discipleship is costly.” And to take it a step further he reminds us “We do not do what he asks because it benefits us. We do not forgive, for example because we might feel better about things. We forgive because we have been forgiven ourselves, because God demands it of us, and because we desire to be like Jesus, to do what He would do if he walked in our shoes. But we are not surprised, when all is said and done, to discover benefits.”

The purpose of this book is not to push rules or Biblical commands down the throat of the believer but to remind us that God’s commands exist because of grace. To quote Carlson again “Sometimes Christians get it backwards. We work hard at obedience to find the grace we need. But the Christian life is a response to grace not a way to earn grace. Grace leads to obedience.” This book was a refreshing reminder of God’s grace poured out on the pages of scripture. Wisdom for all who will listen and obey.

I highly recommend this book.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany Publishers for the purpose of my review, the opinions expressed are my own.

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