Book Review - Deadly Detours: Seven Noble Causes
Book Review - Deadly Detours: Seven Noble Causes That Keep Christians From Changing the World, by Bob Briner, copyright 1996, Zondervan Publishing House , ISBN: 0-310-48630-0
Most Christians are concerned with the state of the country and the world today. There is no shortage of moralistic agendas to arose a Christian's ire and sense of self-righteousness -- Lack of prayer in public schools, the liberal media and politicians, homosexuals, abortion clinics, disagreements about doctrinal differences, finding fault with television (even Christian television programming), and " concern" about " other people's " lack of family values (divorce, out of wedlock pregnancy, pre-marital sex,etc.) This book addresses all of these issues. The author considers all of these issues, while important, to be " deadly detours", distractions from what should be a Christian's primary concern- Teaching about Jesus and working to bring people closer to Christ in order to save souls. He writes that working to preach the gospel, by true evangelizing and living by example as a true representative of Christ is much more difficult than sending money to a televangelist, signing petitions , picketing, complaining, etc., even though these types of activities are often not effective, are often a waste of time, money and effort, and may even be counterproductive, by showing Christianity in a negative light to the outside world. Non- Christians are unlikely to change when confronted by provoking behaviors. The author quotes the comic strip character Pogo when he says, " We have met the enemy and he is us."
The author gives the example of Christians trying to end abortions, a noble cause, by the non-Christian means of political actions, protesting, violence against abortion clinics , even the murder of an abortion providing doctor. He states, "The abortion battle is a battle for hearts. For Christians, every battle is a battle for hearts." He writes about homosexuality, stating we should neither condone the behavior or hate the homosexual himself, but instead, love the sinner but hate the sin. Love the homosexual but make it clear that homosexuality is wrong and sinful, but we are to love all people as Jesus does.
The basic guideline of this book is that we are to remember that our first allegiance is to Jesus Christ and His kingdom. If we forget this best cause, to strive to be like Jesus and do His commands, to be "salt" to the world, and if we become all consumed with tangential causes, we take a deadly detour. The major theme of this book is the recurring quote from the song " Jesus Is Right for Whatever's Wrong In Your Life." Truly a thought provoking book, which some politically activist Christians may disagree with, but which presents it's viewpoint very well and should be well considered. Jesus truly needs to be the focus in every Christian's life.
Richard Cerruti -- Oct. 14, 2016