Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Heaven is Now" by Andrew Farley

My feelings about this book are mixed.  1 Thes 5:21.  There are some excellent aspects of this book.  However, there are other parts that are quite questionable.  I liked how the author spoke about being new in Christ and living in the freedom of grace.  I like he spoke about Christ's sacrifice being a once-and-for-all-time deal.  The parts that I did not like were small things here and there.  Speaking about how a will comes into affect after someone dies was fine.  However, I did not like how much hand-waving Farley did with some verses.  Some things Yeshua said were dismissed as "not counting"  because they were said when Yeshua was alive and that the New Covenant didn't start until Yeshua died.  This is dangerous territory when we start putting down the Words of Yah.  Also, some verses were said to "not count" due to context.  For the notion of us confessing our sins in 1 John, Farley insists this is for unbelievers because with Christ, there is no more forgiveness necessary.  While Christ's sacrifice is done, I do think it is fine to say "I'm sorry" to Yah when we mess up.  However, if Farley wants to presume that certain verses aren't for us due to "context," we might as well say that the Great Commission was only for the apostles Yeshua was speaking to at that moment in time.  Additionally, while we are dead to the law, I do not like how the author says we do not need to keep the law.  Must we revisit John 14:15 and Luke 6:46?  When the author claims Sabbaths aren't necessary, I am appalled.  The author claims that the only "law" we need to fulfill is the law of love.  He even goes so far as to say that Jer 31:33 talks about the law of love and not the OT being written on our hearts.  Talk abut turning the words of the living God upside down!  Jer 23:36.  The author says we should not "sin" and that "sin" can control us if we let "it," but he does not talk much about what constitutes sin.  If one seeks to follow just the law of "love," are we to say homosexuality is okay?  Questions like these can arise when Farley speaks the way he does.  Also annoying is when Farley says we won't be rewarded in heaven.  He says we won't have stones with our name on them.  However, Revelation 2 says we will.  For the lukewarm Christian, this book will be very encouraging.  However, for the seasoned believer, this book is an excellent tool for discernment and 1 Thes 5:21.

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