Saturday, May 12, 2012

“Unashamed to Bear His Name” by R.T. Kendall (A Bethany House Tour)

Embracing the Stigma of Being a Christian Today
 
In our increasingly secular society, being a Christian carries a cost. Whether through public criticism or the quiet loss of respect, it is hard–and becoming harder–to be known as a Christian. Even as believers try to follow the will of God, they are often misunderstood and left to deal with the awkward, sometimes painful results of feeling disconnected from their fellow man–or even stigmatized.
Beloved Bible teacher R. T. Kendall offers hope. Turning the idea of stigma on its head, he shares his own story of rejection and embarrassment in the name of Christ–and how it became the source of unimaginable blessing. With warmth and understanding, he urges readers to embrace the offense that comes from their commitment to Jesus Christ, showing that when they do, the Lord will unleash into their lives incalculable blessing.
Bio: Born and raised in the USA, Dr. R. T. Kendall has recently retired as Minister at Westminster Chapel, London, where he served for 25 eventful years. Still in huge demand as a writer and speaker around the world. He is one of the best-known and respected Christian leaders and teachers in the UK.
He and his wife, Louise, have two children – son Robert Tillman II (TR), married to Annette, a baby on the way (first grandson); daughter Melissa Louise.
He has degrees in A.B.  Trevecca Nazarene University of Nashville, Tennessee,
M.Div. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, M.A.  University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, D. Phil.  Oxford University 1977,
D.D., Trevecca Nazarene University, Senior Minister, Westminster Chapel, February 1, 1977 to February 1, 2002, and has authored fifty books.
Endorsements:

“A book that every serious Christian must read.” — Mr. Michael Youssef, founding pastor, Church of the Apostles, Atlanta, Georgia; founder, Leading the Way
“Dr. R. T. Kendall’s insightful teaching and writing have had a significant impact on my own thinking.  I respect Dr. Kendall greatly and am honored to call him my friends.”  –Dr. James Dobson, founder, Focus on the Family
“Sobering words you will thank God for.” — Colin Dye, senior minister, Kensington Temple, London, England
My Review:
As one hears from some of the news media and reports from missionaries from around the world, as well as watching the decline of our own country, R. T. Kendall, in his book, Unashamed to Bear His Name, deliberates on the stigmas of being a Christian in today’s world.  There are persecutions, beatings, death, ridicule, and offense from sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Dr. Kendall shares his own life history as a Christian that include the rebuffs and name-calling he himself has endured.
When one comes to Christ, we are to ‘count the cost.’  From reading Dr. Kendall’s book, that includes the choice to embrace:
  • the shame of the Name of Jesus
  • being called names
  • being an offense to other people
  • standing up for the truths of the Bible despite rejection from others
  • enduring the ‘narrow-minded stigma’ for believing Jesus to be the only way to heaven
  • belittling for our beliefs in the one true God and Creator
  • the ridicule of the Holy Spirit’s move in one’s life
  • public/private criticism
  • quiet loss of respect
  • plus several other issues
Dr. Kendall insists that these issues and stigmas are not anything to back away from.  In fact, we are to embrace these issues to the glory of God without grumbling and complaining.  He does stress the issue, however, that we shouldn’t be the cause of unnecessary scandal by our lifestyle, thus suffering for the wrong reasons.
Dr. Kendall gives you multiple, insightful teachings to chew on in regards to the above issues mentioned in his book and how we are to embrace them.  Though I don’t agree with all his doctrine and some of his church-bashing, I found his book to be a great reminder of ‘counting the cost’ and the glory we will receive if we hold fast to the truth.  We are to live in joy despite the trials we face.
As in the words of Colin Dye, Dr. Kendall’s book presents ”Sobering words you will thank God for.” And then Dr. Michael Youssef’s comment, “A book that every serious Christian must read.”
This book was provided by Jim Hart of Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion.  No monetary compensation was received for my opinion.

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