Book Review: Who Are You To Judge?

Discernment.

Discretion.

Sound judgement.

These things are often in short supply in 21st century America. Sadly, they are seldom found where you’d think they would be easily found–in Christ’s church. One of the most misunderstood Scriptural quotes in modern times is Christ’s command to “Judge Not.”

In his book Who Are You to Judge?, Dr. Erwin Lutzer addresses the topic of discernment and judging. This timely book boldly takes the whole of Scripture to discuss sound judgement and its place in a Christian’s life.

 

Modern America proclaims that all versions of truth are equally valid. Right and wrong are simply a matter of opinion and there are no moral absolutes. In fact, the only judgement that is acceptable is to judge other people who have the nerve to be judgmental!

Sadly, these attitudes have crept into Christianity. Even Christians have been deceived into thinking that unity and love are the most important thing. They believe that love and unity are even more important than doctrinal purity, truth, and holiness.

And yet, even those Christians who do have sound judgement struggle to understand the balance between love and unity versus truth and righteousness. In this book, Lutzer takes on the challenge of parsing out what the Bible says about sound judgment and discernment. That’s one thing that I liked about this book. It’s not just one man’s opinion. This book is saturated in Scripture and wisdom, sharing God’s view of truth.

Lutzer not only talks about how we got here, recounting the slow slide from our nation’s Judeo-Christian roots to post-modernism, but he addresses specifics that Christians may struggle with in developing a God-centered basis for sound judgement. Some topics included are:

  • Doctrinal purity–I enjoyed this chapter. Lutzer rises above some of the different interpretations of certain Scriptural passages to describe the “deal breakers” of Christianity.
  • Judging false prophets
  • Judging miracles
  • Judging entertainment–This chapter is spot on. I don’t understand why Christian families often allow such vile things into their homes under the guise of “entertainment.”
  • Judging appearances
  • Judging witchcraft and fantasy
  • Judging character

One part that I especially appreciated is in chapter 10, when Lutzer discusses judging the conduct of others. The challenge is to reconcile “becoming a stumbling block to others” versus being confident in your own judgements. Lutzer does a great job of explaining the differences between the two and when we as mature Christians should abstain from certain “gray areas” to help other “baby Christians” not falter in their faith. This has always been difficult for me to suss out, and Lutzer explained clearly how the two views can logically co-exist.

I love that Lutzer is kind and loving in his statements, yet he does not shy away from being very, very direct. Additionally, Lutzer’s tone in this book is humble. He does not judge arrogantly, spouting his own opinions as the absolute truth, but always points the reader back to Scripture. In places where the Scripture is less clear (such as in the chapter about fantasy and magic when he discusses childhood fantasy fiction like Harry Potter) he does present his own views, his logic on how he came to that view, and allows the reader the freedom to read the Scriptures and come to his own conclusion.

I am actually hoping to share this book in Bible study form with a some teens that I know. I feel that it will be very helpful to many of them who are just a few years away from leaving home and attending college, many of them secular colleges. I’ve been looking for such a book for awhile as my oldest daughter will be attending a state college come this fall.

I did really enjoy this book. If you are wondering how you can stand firm in the landslide of post-modernism, this book will probably help you immensely.  While I received this book for no cost in exchange for a review, my opinions are my own honest ones.

 

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