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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
I don't usually do non-fiction, but the title and idea of Fixing Abraham caught my fancy and I knew I wanted to check it out. I'm not disappointed. It is fascinating reading.

When we read about our Biblical heroes such as Abraham, David and Solomon, for example, we tend to forget about their all-too-human acts and misbehavior. This book by writer Christ Tiegreen takes a look at these guys in a modern context. I'll give one example, but you'll have to get the book to see the others.

In one chapter the author sets the scene of a conversation between two men, officials in a ministry destroyed when their leader falls into blatant and public immorality. The ministry is ruined, the leader disgraced, and now these two men are contemplating a warehouse full of products that no one will ever buy. Even if the leader repents and is forgiven, can he ever return to the ministry? Will the public allow that? Okay, you've got the picture, I'm sure.

Now, let's take a look at Solomon. Or David. Either one will work. David? He committed adultery with a married woman then ordered her husband killed so he could marry her. Sure, we all know that yet we still revere his as a man whom God loved. Same with Solomon.
But put either one of them in today's culture, what would happen? Would we go to the bookstore to buy and read David's Psalms after we learned about his sin? Or Solomon's Proverbs? Or Song of Songs, or Ecclesiastes? Or would we begin to question the words we once loved and cherished and look on them now with suspicion? After all, David was an adulterer and a murderer.

"If Solomon had been teaching and writing today and then faltered as he did, Proverbs would be thrown into the evangelical Dumpster."

I'm going to stop here. You really need to read this book. It will give you a whole new perspective.

Oh! Consider this: Mary, Jesus' mother, today--engaged but unmarried, pregnant yet still a virgin
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Wow, is this book thought provoking! I really enjoyed the comparisons of Biblical stories in contemporary perspectives.
The author's chapter four hit home with me especially. I am definitely one of those skeptical Christians who sees an evangelical "fall" in the public eye and immediately dismisses any of the good work they had done up to that point and judge there motives for doing their work in the first place. As the author discusses, King Solomon and David would be condemned in the same way. Yet, we don't judge their writings or their wisdom in the Bible as hogwash even though they were not perfect men.

Throughout the book, the author discusses various Biblical characters and how they would be viewed in the world today. I think one of things I enjoyed about this book was that it's not your typical Christian non fiction read. In fact, I already know a few people I'd like to recommend this book to. It had me totally thinking "outside the box" in trying to understand God's character and would be a great book to discuss in Bible studies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Fixing Abraham by Chris Tiegreen is subtitled How Taming Our Bible Heroes Blinds Us to the Wild Ways of God. This book is a fascinating look at how the heroes that we study and admire from the Bible were used by God in unexpected and unusual ways that if we saw them today we would probably denounce. Tiegreen begins each chapter with a fictional bit taking a Biblical figure and rewriting their story into modern times along with the probable reaction of Christians to their actions. Christians are so divided about a variety of issues, many that don't really make a difference in the bigger picture. Tiegreen exposes some hypocrisies in order to show that God does not always speak to us in ways that we would expect or make us comfortable. God's love is so much bigger and wilder than anything we could imagine that we often try to put him in a box or at least make him easier to understand and accept. But that's not how God works. Today when a popular minister publicly sins, he is tossed out of the ministry, along with all of his teachings, no matter how solid they would have been. Compare that to King David whose Psalms are read every Sunday in churches all over the world but committed adultery and had his lover's husband killed. Tiegreen wants Christians to expand their view of God and how he can work through people. It's not just an enlightening book, but an enjoyable one as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Picture this. God asks you to sacrifice the child you've been struggling to conceive for decades and you do it - no questions asked. Handily God steps in and saves your child, providing a goat in his place. Whew. The only thing is you didn't know in advance how this would all play out. You were sold out, following God, no matter the cost. How would your spouse feel; your church family; how quickly would you be committed to a mental institution?

Yet this very scenario is one of the foundational events found in the book of Genesis. Abraham's obedience to the command of God resulted in his standing in God's books as a man of great faith. God was impressed, but was anyone else? In Fixing Abraham Chris Tiegreen examines 17 examples from the Bible in which His people behaved in odd, puzzling and ways that would indeed be interpreted as ungodly by the casual observer. Now we have the full span of scripture to tell us how things turned out, how God views these people, and how in turn we should see them. But what did it look like up close? What would it look like now if these events took place in modern congregations? Might there be implications here for our own individual faith-walks with Christ?

In an attempt to answer these questions Tiegreen deconstructs the shiny, happy, sanitized facades modern church has built around the lives of our spiritual ancestors. Stripping away warm fuzzy explanations, Tiegreen reveals how inappropriate the behaviour of these spirit-led individuals was not only in our own culture, but in theirs as well. In their pursuit of God, behaviour is exhibited which often seems contrary to the scriptural principles we hold dear. All of our best assertions as to what God would never do, who He would never use, or what He would never ask of us are swept downriver in a flood of contrary evidence.

Each example is initially presented in the modern context, often taking the form of bizarrely humourous dialogue and settings. The current-day version of Hosea telling his small-group buddies he's about to marry a prostitute is priceless. Many of the modern-evangelical reactions to the situations examined throughout are humorous or heartbreaking. Commentary follows dealing with the original incidents and how they were likely perceived at the time, and how God worked through these unusual happenings. Some of the examined scenarios seem to be a stretched a wee bit far, and by book's end Tiegreen had already made his point thoroughly, leaving me longing for his conclusion.

While Tiegreen's illustrations seem to run on, his Introduction is striking, fresh, and worth every penny of the purchase price. I was challenged deeply on my own positions and stretched to consider God's wild ways in new light. I slapped my thigh and exclaimed in delight and wonder on numerous occasions throughout the introductory section. Indeed the introduction is the best Christian non-fiction I've read this year! The author's premise is clearly laid out in his opening statements with all other chapters serving as illustrative examples. Get a copy and read the first portion if nothing else.

Tiegreen in no way is seeking to undermine the word of God or its authority, and references it extensively (wonderful footnotes). Instead, he encourages us to see the ways in which scripture itself points out the unconventional, unexpected ways He has called His people to walk. In looking at scripture without the lens of familiarity, the odd and even bizarre behaviours of our heroes of the faith cements the old maxim firmly in place: "God works in mysterious ways."

Fixing Abraham encourages believers to look beyond their carefully assembled systematic theologies and spiritual guidelines to the One who's really in charge. He doesn't always play safe, predictable, or easy, but if you're willing to follow Him hang on! You'll be drawn into His purposes, and chances are they won't be what you expected going in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Chris Tiegreen's "Fixing Abraham" is a remarkable book that will put God into the proper perspective as it encourages the reader to see the Lord more clearly and read the Word with greater passion, depth and truth. This thoughtful work of non-fiction begins by telling the reader that we've been looking at Biblical things, things of faith, all wrong. We've put God into a tiny box and limited His activity. We refuse to admit that we don't always know the answers to spiritual dilemmas. Our interpretation of the Bible (hermeneutics) is flawed. But there is hope for us to change our ways.

Tiegreen systematically engages the reader's heart, mind and spirit to promote an unquenchable desire for Biblical truth. He shares scholarly techniques and study methods as he reintroduces several heroes of the faith in an attempt to enlighten, educate and guide the reader to a more truthful pursuit of our unfathomable God! This is a remarkable book that casts a revealing light upon the Biblical characters we love, but come to discover that we don't really know at all. "Fixing Abraham" challenged my defective thinking, opened my eyes to the reality of God's Word, and pushed me toward a deeper understanding of His character and methods. I have also learned several wonderful Bible study processes that I can use for my own learning and as I prepare to teach others. I will never see the Bible or my Heavenly Father the same way, again.
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on May 17, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
very thought provoking and right on target. Issues that are not easily dealt with but which require an honest approach to life as a believer in Jesus Christ.
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on December 21, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Chris is such an amazing author and so in touch with the subject he is writing about. Very insightful and anyone who reads it will be very blessed.
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on April 23, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
He reads too much into Scripture. Comes with preconceived notions and unpacks them where they don't belong.
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on February 13, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Love it!
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