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Book Review: Uncompromised Faith by S. Michael Craven

I recently registered with NavPress’ blogger review program. Following is my first review.

John 1:14 tells us that Jesus came “full of grace and truth.” The challenge for the church today is to be like Christ as we engage the world full of grace yet uncompromising in truth. It is to that end that Craven’s book provides a helpful tool.

Uncompromised Faith is divided into two parts. Part 1 is a look at how we got here: an overview of the development of cultural thought and philosophy over the last couple of centuries and how they shaped the way Americans think. While a good introduction to such broad concepts, two major flaws bothered me. First, Craven seems to over-glorify the past. In attempting to show how the moral decay in America, he paints an overly rosy picture of days gone by. The church in each generation has faced its own challenges. Second, the title of chapter 4 is “Consumerism: Idolatry is Alive and Well!” Now, the problem was that he never addressed the idolatrous nature of consumerism. He did talk about its false hopes and ability to deceive, but never returned to the problem of idolatry. The chapter title was very good and I was disappointed he never explored the depths of the theme he introduced.

The real strength of the book comes in Part 2 where Craven investigates a few central themes, especially gender and sexuality issues, that provide major challenges to the church in the coming years. With a useful review of relevant literature and research, Craven reveals the misconceptions that have shaped cultural thought and calls the church back to the biblical normative. Then, most helpfully, Craven concludes each discussion with a few practical suggestions for how to live out the biblical precepts to which he calls us.

Though I have a couple of reservations (listed above), Uncompromised Faith is a great resource for Christians longing to engage sensitive issues with both grace and truth.