Hey Dojo readers,
I’m excited to announce that I am officially a published author!
I mean, self-published eBooks count, right? I’ll just assume my Pulitzer will be arriving shortly… 😉
One thing many readers may not know is that over the past 15 years or so I have had a strong interest in the theological concepts of sin, holiness, sanctification and perfection. These aren’t exactly cocktail party banter terms, nor are they hot-button current event/social issues I’ve blogged about very much.
However, during my college years I experienced a major spiritual turning point as I realized that “Sin” was not simply some trait humanity is born with…rather, it is an enemy that we’ve been enslaved by ever since Adam and Eve took that fateful bite of the forbidden fruit (this notion of Sin will be the subject of a future book in this series, in fact!).
Throughout my years in seminary and continued study since then–reading and listening carefully to voices on all sides of the theological discussion surrounding these concepts–I’ve become more convinced than ever that many of us have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of Sin. The practical result is that overall, we live Romans 7 lives…when in fact we’ve been given all things necessary through faith in our Redeemer and the empowering presence of Holy Spirit to live Romans 8 lives!
In “Cleansed and Abiding: A Proposed View of Christian Perfection” I attempt to bring some clarity to the various approaches Christians have taken when looking at sanctification, sin, and the Biblical concept of “perfection”, surveying four different overall views and then proposing a fifth which I believe makes the most sense of all the Biblical data.
I know there will be many brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with me on a number of points in it and in the spirit of Disciple Dojo I welcome your criticisms, comments, questions or points of disagreement! As long as they are respectful and given in a spirit of unity and “in-house debate” I would love to hear them!
And if you’re gonna label me a “heretic”, do me a favor and at least get some high-profile Christian celebrity to Tweet it…I could use the sales! 😉
Here is a short description of the book below. Please take a moment to read it and if you’re still curious you can even read a sample of it over on Amazon!
Also, let me make it clear…YOU DON’T NEED A KINDLE TO BUY THIS BOOK!
You can download the FREE Kindle Reader App and read it on your iPad, PC, Mac, iPhone, Droid, Blackberry or Windows Phone 7!
The book is not very long, most of you can probably read it in a couple of hours tops. And it’s only about the cost of a trip to Starbucks! [Translation: It’s short and cheap, so since sales of it go directly to funding Disciple Dojo and allowing me to continue in ministry you have no excuse for not buying it! haha!]
Also, it is part of the KDP Select library, so Amazon Prime subscribers can borrow it for free! (See Amazon for more on this!)
So please download it, read it, prayerfully consider what I propose in it, and then come back here and share your thoughts in the Dojo! [So you can return quickly, the direct link to this page is http://jmsmith.org/blog/cleansed-and-abiding]
Thanks for all your support and stay tuned for more such books in the coming months. I have a few more that I’m working on!
Blessings from the Dojo,
“Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” -Jesus
Since He uttered these words, Jesus’ followers have often been quite puzzled over their meaning. How can anyone be ‘perfect’? Isn’t sin inevitable for all humans, even those who’ve given their lives to Christ?
Over the centuries various theologians from various traditions have attempted to describe what it means–and what it DOESN’T mean–to “be perfect.” Some Christians have claimed to have reached a state of perfection in which they no longer struggle with sin. Others have claimed that perfection is an unattainable goal so long as we are in this fleshly body. Cleansed and Abiding seeks to offer an alternative view of Christian ‘perfection’ than those which are commonly associated with the term.
Though this is indeed a controversial doctrine (and has been for hundreds of years!), it need not be a divisive one. Believers all agree on the reality of sin, the necessity of sanctification, and the fact that Scripture calls us to somehow be ‘perfect.’ How these are worked out in detail is where the differences lay.
It is for the purpose of clarifying the debate that this book is offered. Not every reader will be persuaded by the view proposed in its pages, but hopefully every reader will be persuaded that holiness is not some minor point of doctrine meant only to be pondered by theologians safely within the confines of academic debate.
Rather, it is the call of Jesus on the life of every person who claims to be His follower.
Disciple Dojo guest contributor, Olatunde Howard, has also published an ebook on this same subject (which I provided the cover illustration for!).
Originally Olatunde and I talked about combining our two books together and releasing them as one volume, but we felt that our styles and the feel of each book lends itself to different readers.
I would absolutely recommend reading this as a follow up to my book (or vice versa!), as it elaborates on some of the more personal aspects of what it means to pursue holiness on a daily basis!
And best of all it’s only $3.00…so you could buy BOTH of our books for still less than you’d pay for lunch at most places! 😉