Title: First Freedom (The Beginning & The End of Religious Liberty)
Author: Jason G. Duesing, Thomas White and Malcolm B. Yarnell III
Publisher: B & H Academic
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
When I started reading the book I wasn’t aware that it focused on religious liberty from a Baptist point of view. I wasn’t raised Baptist however there is much I gleaned from the book, so matter your denominational background or practice here is a book which should be in a personal library in homes across America. Now why would I suggest such an investment? There are several reasons for my suggestion.
One, here is a book which clearly and precisely lays out a historical legacy of beliefs for religious freedom here in the states and why. Second, the essays also point out theological reasoning for sharing the gospel in a noncoercive manner. Third, the authors of the essays lay out how contemporary issues are affecting religious freedom in this nation today.
I found myself challenged once again to be able to lay before others the reason for the hope which I have because of Christ. I found statements made which caused me to pause and consider what the essays were putting forth regardless of whether I agreed with everything or not. Once again it reminds us as Christians that it is our duty to share the gospel with others while reminding us that we all have free will. God gave mankind free will and He has never revoked that decision, therefore we shouldn’t try to coerce others to believe too. Share the gospel the hope that is within you and then if the person wishes not to listen then stop. When you come across another individual share again and if they desire to listen or discuss beliefs with you then loving show them why you believe what you believe.
In a world where access to information is instantaneous learning takes time, commitment and sacrifice. Personally I love learning, reading and studying. I do have a personal conviction to do so until my last breath. As God leads me to share then that is what I do and I want to do it in a manner which invites discussion, and a yearning to know Jesus. I don’t always share it correctly or with grace but I am grateful that the Lord is teaching me how to do so with each new day.
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