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A Call for Discernment: Distinguishing Truth from Error in Today's Church Paperback – December 1, 1999
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Only when you know the Truth will you be able to discern that which is false.
Adams exhorts the reader to see the importance of detecting truth and error through through the use observation, reasoning, and Scripture. This short, but vital, books is filled with pertinent biblical texts and their explanation. Although I have been teaching and writing on theological aberrations for over thirty-five years, I found it refreshing, biblical, and much-needed today for every Christians. Thus, I give my heart recommendation.
My only reservation is Dr. Adams sweeping condemnation of "psychology." Yes, he has unmasked many unbiblical aspects of psychology in his long career, especially in Competent to Counsel. But some aspects of psychology are true by virtue of common grace and are compatible with Scripture, as is much of logotherapy (V. Frankl).
Why then do I not give it 5 stars? Because I have reservations on the way the author addressed two very important points:
a) On P. 35 the author attributes one cause for the lack of discernment in modern day Christians to be the de-emphasis of Systematic Theology coupled with the emphasis on Biblical Theology, without carefully defining what he meant by these terms. Not everyone mean the same thing when using these terms and one could easily argue (again depending on the precise definition) that Systematic Theology uses human logic to deduce things not directly revealed in the Bible - may be even things that God chooses not to reveal to us - while Biblical Theology is much closer to what the Bible actually tells us.
b) On P. 38-40 the author attributes another cause for lack of discernment to "the liberation of laity" and went on to say that it has gone too far. He illustrated his point by noting the existence of high profile people who are assuming the role of the leadership for the church while operating outside the church and its authority. However, there seems to be a disconnect in the logic: high profile people operating outside the church cannot assume leadership of the church unless the actual leaders of the church wishes to follow! In any event, if such leadership is true to Scripture, then it should not be a bad thing. If they were not (and the author may be implying that they are not - certainly there are plenty of such examples), then it would be an issue of false prophets (which the Bible repeated warn us about and which church leaders would show an acute lack of discernment should they follow) and not to be confused with the liberation of laity. In either case it is not a CAUSE for lack of discernment, but (in the latter case) a RESULT of the lack of discernment.