Back in December, I wrote a review of Max Lucado's latest (at that time book). I mentioned how refreshing that book was because Lucado presented conservative evangelical Christian ideas while emphasizing "liberal" social justice. It's a great case for those two to not be in opposition to one another.
Lucado is one of the few authors whose work I have known since early on my Christian life and who I still read and respect highly. I recently had the opportunity to read his newest (and man, does he have a long authorship credit!) book, Max on Life, providing answers to 172 common questions he has received over the years. These were culled from letters, emails, sermons, books, etc.
The result is the most theological work I've read of Lucado's. Usually his work feels more devotional and singly-focused, emphasizing the encouragement of the saints. And this is good stuff. Many of the questions he addresses, though, require more directly theological responses.
Readers of my blog and tweets know I have lobbed a few volleys against penal substitutionary atonement lately. Lucado advocates this atonement theory. However, he doesn't do so in the same condemning hellfire and brimstone fashion that many other big names do these days. His emphasis is more on the transcendent love of God that rescues us from everything. Rather than being against sin, he is for love and God. His presentation of some of these ideas helped me realize that my theological problems are at times more with the viciously vociferous advocates of some positions than the pure theology itself.
There are some gems of lines in this book. One of Lucado's strengths is clarity in his writing and purpose. If you're one who has a lot of questions and want a clear, concise answer, this is a great book. If you want more of Lucado's traditional writings that are more narrative in format, you may want to pass.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”