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A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel Paperback – June 1, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The best radio-show hosts speak not to a group of people but to individuals—listeners feel the show is just for them. Brown (Born Free), a Presbyterian seminary professor, former pastor and host of the Key Life radio program, uses that approach to fine effect as he encourages Christians to celebrate their absolute freedom. Conversational, lighthearted and full of funny lines (and a few urban legends presented as fact), Brown's writing nevertheless conveys deep truth: believers too often stagger beneath a burden of behavior forced on them by other Christians, a standard that God does not require. "I fear too often the church has become an organization of guilty people with a guilty preacher standing in the pulpit, telling guilty people that they should feel guiltier," he writes. The oppressed and their oppressors miss the power of authenticity, especially the freedom to fail, the joy of God's complete forgiveness and the boldness it brings. God's liberty also lets Christians embrace those with whom they disagree. Brown illustrates the point in one of his best anecdotes, recalling his relationship with Tony Campolo. Brown's honesty about his own failings drives his points home. This book has the power to help Christian believers who have been struggling to march in a straight line to leap up and dance.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Dr. Steve Brown is a broadcaster, seminary professor, author, and founder and president of Key Life Network.  He previously served as a pastor for over twenty-five years and now devotes much of his time to the radio broadcasts, Key Life and Steve Brown Etc. Dr. Brown serves as Professor Emeritus of Preaching at Reformed Theological Seminary teaching at the campuses in Atlanta, Orlando and Washington, D.C. He sits on the board of the National Religious Broadcasters and Harvest USA. Steve is the author of numerous books, and his articles appear in such magazines and journals as Christianity Today, Leadership, Relevant, Leadership, Decision, Plain Truth and Today's Christian Woman. Traveling extensively, he is a much-in-demand speaker. Steve and his wife Anna have two daughters and three granddaughters.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582293929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582293929
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrew K. Comings on May 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was handed a copy of Steve Brown's A Scandalous Freedom by a colleague during a conference. I already had a couple books I planned on reading that week. My colleague mentioned that I could skim it if I preferred. I read one page, and realized that this was far more important than anything I was reading at the time. The whole book was finished in three days.

What made this such fascinating reading? A hint can be found in the subtitle of the book: "The Radical Nature of the Gospel".

You see, Brown's basic premise is that the Grace of God sets us free. Of course all orthodox Christians would agree with that. Where many will find Brown's book hard to swallow (if not downright disturbing) is that he defines freedom as...well...freedom. Not freedom from, nor freedom to...simply freedom.

Now before we get into calls of heresy, Brown is no antinomian. Perhaps one of his most vivid illustrations in a book full of vivid illustrations is his description of the Law of God as a map to guide us through a minefield. He is just tired (as am I) of God's people being burdened by man-made laws. The following quote from the book puts it quite succinctly:

"I fear too often the church has become an organization of guilty people with a guilty preacher standing in the pulpit, telling guilty people that they should feel guiltier"

I'm afraid that this small review is not doing Brown (a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary) justice. I just know that, upon reading this book, I came away with a much greater desire to really know Jesus. Perhaps people in ministry are expected to have that base covered, but I confess readily that I do not.

Those of you who have followed these reviews know that when I believe a book is less than quality, I say so.
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Format: Paperback
Fans of Steve Brown's Keylife radio program should go ahead and order several copies. You'll need them for your friends, your pastor, and your church library. (I am in my second reading of the book, and just ordered my 5th, 6th, & 7th copies.) Besides, the author does not collect the royalties - they go to charity.

Even if you have never heard of Steve Brown, if you believe you can "know the truth, and the truth will set you free" - but you aren't quite sure how that works in your life, this is the book for you. In these pages, you can find answers to the questions "free from what?" and "free to do what?"

This is a book of great value and comfort to Christians - especially those who, despite their struggles, "aren't getting much better," and are willing to admit it - at least to themselves.

You will find out you are not alone, and that God loves you anyway.

The author tries not to give you a list of things to do - he doesn't want to create a "12-Step Program for Christians Who Aren't Getting Much Better." Nonetheless, you will come away with some practical ideas about letting God be God. Then you won't have to keep struggling to take his job - you will know that you are free to be you.

Read a few pages in a bookstore - or in our church library - you will want your own copy.

God bless you.
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If you are the type of person that preaches grace but lives rules, this book is definately not for you.

As Christians we probably don't need to retake grace 101, but we do need to be reminded of it every now and then. But then God's grace is as big as He is, and we don't really know the enormous span and depth of it. This book made God's grace more real to me, and more awesome then I could have ever imagined. I really needed to hear the message of this 5 STAR+++ book.
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Steve Brown's "A Scandalous Freedom" came at a good time in my life. For those desperate to shed their unrealness and partake in the realness that is God's love, this is the book for you. Brown shows us that we can only ascribe worth through Jesus Christ, because every human relationship will ultimately fail us.

The only drawback to this book is that I don't like Brown's cheesy personal references. I caught myself becoming impatient, wondering when he'd arrive to his point. I also didn't like some of his self-deprecating remarks outside his confessions that he, too, is a sinner. I have a feeling Brown is a more engaging speaker than he is a writer. But the quality of the writing is not nearly as important as the message.

I'm glad I read this book - though now I feel like I have even more questions than answers.

On a side note, I have read a lot of spiritual books (many of which fall into the self-help category), and they all say similar inspirational things about living in God's grace. But all of these authors - including Brown - fail to explain HOW we're supposed to do this. How do we get past our materialism and obsession with our human relationships and focus on Christ? Sure, there is freedom in Christ, as Brown professes throughout his manifesto, but HOW do you get to that point? Is faith really a subjective experience?
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Steve Brown has a way of stating what we're thinking! For many years I had been taught that it's the "RULES" that will make you a good Christian. The pain of not being able to live up to the rules was devastating. The more I read the Bible, the more I knew that there was more than the rules of do and don't. God's grace set us free! Free to be ALL that God had created me to be.

This book didn't change my mind, it confirmed what Scripture already states.
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