We have here a tale of two books–it was the best of times and it was the worst of times! The first book is quite a read as it highlights the very scriptural idea that Christians are called upon to bear reproach for the Name. That Name is the name that moves the heart of every believer–Jesus. A Christian should expect and gladly bear any shame the world hurls at us for that Name. He defines using the words “stigma” and “scandal.”
He well explains that it is a privilege to bear this stigma as well as highlights the foolishness of being consumed with what others say. This is not so difficult a cross to bear. Why would followers of Jesus care what His enemies say?
Then he weaves his theses into the Gospel itself. Or perhaps we could say the practical side of bearing shame for Christ is upholding the truths of His Gospel. To say a positive word for Christ may get you in trouble, but saying that we are sinners in need of Christ will really get you in trouble. Mr. Kendall did a piece of work in defending this.
He further showed how Bible characters across the Scriptures suffered this reproach, and many of them did it gladly and reaped obvious benefits. He follows this with defining what is bearing shame and is not bearing shame. The question is broached by what would he be willing to go to the stake for. That will put it in perspective quickly. I agree that Christ and the salvation He provides pretty much exhausts the list. Finally he vividly shows that needing vindication here in this life is a fault. His quoting of the song “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” tells the whole tale. Read it–you’ll see.
Now there’s the second book. He disintegrates into comparing his getting entangled in charismatic doctrine as this same idea. I could in no way see the connection. When his friends turned against that direction in his ministry, he feels like he is bearing shame for the doctrine of the Spirit. The book is still a worthy read though you may not need to read it to the end. You won’t need me to tell you when the book changes completely.
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