Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Evangelicals Adrift (Review)

This review is for the book "Evangelicals Adrift" by Matthew Ferris. Ferris holds to the idea that evangelicals have a tendency to pick and choose what helps to advance the gospel, while sacramentalists choose to hold traditions and other writings to the same standard as scripture. What Ferris has found is that in recent years evangelicals are actually converting to sacramentalism by way of Orthodoxy or Catholicism. I actually had no idea this was a trend. The entire first portion of this book seemed somewhat like a different language to me because it was very detailed in regards to Catholic principles and traditions, and I have no experience with anything related to Catholicism. In fact, I had almost given up on understanding the book at all, but then I came to the section on sacraments - namely, baptism, the Eucharist, and confession. This section was incredibly intriguing and sincerely made me think. I think Ferris does a great job of writing this book by using scripture and not so much his own opinion. His whole point is that we need to get back to reading the Bible and using that for our ultimate authority, which I completely agree with. The only problem I had with this book is some of the scripture references were off. There were a couple of times that a scripture was written - just the reference - and when I tried to look it up I could not find it. One author that Ferris referenced stated that Paul wrote in the scriptures "else would your children be unholy" (p. 161) yet I searched and searched and could not find any translation of the Bible that had any such statement. At one point, Ferris references 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, and then in the next paragraph the verses 16 and 17 are referenced. I immediately turned to 1 Corinthians 11:16-17 and it did not match up. I did a little digging and it turned out that the verses 16 and 17 that were being referenced were in 1 Corinthians 10. These are minor editing issues and do not affect the book as a whole, in my opinion. I think this is a great book to make you think. Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

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