5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent read; argument against pluralism leaves something to be desired,
This review is from: The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission: Promoting the Gospel with More Than Our Lips (Hardcover)
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John Dickson's "Best Kept Secret" is a cold splash of holy water on the heads of so many Christians yearning for a deeper authenticity in Christ. Part biopic, part inspirational, part call to action, Dickson is clearly not a spiritual "rags to riches" figure: he was an evangelist by the age of 15 and never stopped. His stories--some amusing, some sad, some both, are a good reflection of the Born Again world of evangelism. Like all preachers, he comes to the inevitable conclusion that spreading the Word spontaneously is more often than not a tricky business to be done only by those who have a "preacherly" charism. He notes: "It really is best if Christ's message is given in the hustle bustle of the every day world, more by example than anything else." Most of the book is fantastic and reminiscent of Bonhoeffer's "Cost of Discipleship".
The only flaw in this book is his argument against Pluralism, which I found a bit contradictory and close-minded. Citing extremely left of center biblical scholars/theologians like Marcus Borg The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith and John Dominic Crossan's Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, he condemns them and their ilk for promoting the idea. a la Joseph Campbell that all religions are archetypes, or that all reach for the same goal with different images and symbols. His problem with a pluralistic religious worldview is in itself sort of pluralistic: he feels that this kind of approach implies impossible or unfair access to metaphysical reality, as though the "dissident" nature of an ecumenical outlook is itself a kind of arrogance. In other words: they claim to know what they cannot know. All faith is a claiming of cosmic certitude for which we cannot necessarily give absolute proof. Therefore, the idea that more right wing and dogmatic attitudes toward faith (this is THE one faith, the ONE Church, etc etc) bears the same burden of proof as pluralism.
Aside from this theological disagreement I have with the author, I suspect any contemporary Christian will love the book. Recommended.