Monday, June 9, 2008

Rev. Zwonitzer's Continuing Book Review of The Best is Yet to Come: Chapter 2

This is the second post in the series of Pastor Rodney E. Zwonitzer's book review of Pastor John Kieschnick's book The Best is Yet to Come: 7 Doors of Spiritual Growth.

Review of Chapter Two: Witness: The Door of Opportunity

Kieschnick admits that this is the real impetus behind the book, that Christians become effective witnesses. He bases this on every Christian being a witness by what they do, say, act, etc. He seizes upon an Os Guiness quote as thematic: "Who we are determines what we do."

Problematic to this is Christian's compartmentalizing their world into the secular and sacred. Yet further many, he contends, feel that witnessing is for full-time church workers while the rest are second-class citizens in the God's kingdom. He feels that the world is watching each Christian, so they're looking not for perfectionism but consistency and authenticity as simultaneously saint and sinner. (here he has "simul lustus et peccator" which I've never seen before; likely just a typo, i.e. "lustus" for what should have been "iustus").

He hints at confusion between the office of the public ministry and the priesthood of all believers as he falls into the CGM trap of talking about all believers not as servants of the gifts the Lord has given but as "ministers," e.g. music ministry, etc. He further applies 2 Cor. 5:20 as each and every Christian being equally 'an ambassador" rather than as it correctly should be to the called and ordained servants of the Word. They are charged with speaking the Word for Christ, they are the sent ones. This is the "Everyone A Minister" dilemma that has been brought into the LCMS from without and continues to be falsely spread. This confusion of who and where speaking for God is to occur confuses everything. I myself am into imploring all Christians to seize opportunities to witness and share their faith when God presents the opportunities (Col. 4:1-6) but I do not encourage this by saying falsely that everyone is a minister and everyone is an ambassador. These are not our calls for the taking, but God's for the giving.

This again like most of the previous comments on this book are a mixed bag. I am all for every Christian being a 24/7 believer, and sharing their faith when given opportunities and serving the Lord with all their time, talents and treasures, but Kieschnick in this chapter has not come as clean with all his comments thus far on witnessing. He is committed and passionate about his sharing Jesus with all that he comes in contact with and encourages the rest of us as Jesus' disciples to do the same. However, he mixes this with troublesome confusion about ministry. We continue to struggle in our confessional body with these doctrines and terms, confirming evidence of this is his chapter opening Scriptural quote of 1 Peter 2:9.

Honestly I was surprised at how much of this chapter I can relate to and affirm, yet with the noted reservations. All Christians need to be encouraged to live their faith out in their vocations and calls and share Jesus with friends, family and acquaintances. The discerning Christian will be able to amen much of this chapter, while carefully noting some doctrinal drift.

Rich blessings in Christ!

Pastor Rod Zwonitzer

Click here to continue to the next part of Pastor Zwonitzer's review.

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