Off the Shelf: Beyond the Sacred-Secular Divide

Books that have caught my eye.

Beyond the Sacred-Secular Divide: A Call to Wholistic Life and Ministry

By Scott D. Allen

A real problem for many in the Church today is a tendency to divide the world into mutually exclusive compartments. One component is labeled “sacred” and has to do with the spiritual life. Everything else goes into a “secular” category. For those who hold this divided view of reality, the consequences are profound. While they may love Jesus as their spiritual savior, they may fail to honor him as Lord over all areas of life. An invisible line divides their personal faith in Christ, their church attendance, worship, prayer life, and Bible study from other areas of life such as their work, leisure time, or care for their physical bodies. Anything that is labeled “secular” is assumed to be of little concern to God. Christianity is narrowed down to a scheme for spiritual salvation. The cross is a ticket to heaven and little more.

This book is offered by the Disciple Nations Alliance, which I have known and appreciated for many years. I helped DNA’s Darrow Miller write the book, Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Cultures. Scott Allen of DNA asked for my endorsement, and I was happy to provide one. Here it is:

In Great Commission ministry, word and deed must go together. Losing one or the other distorts beyond recognition the good news Jesus taught and embodied. Perhaps the greater temptation for Christians today is to emphasize work without word, leading to powerless liberalism. But others among us may think they may have successfully communicated the good news while failing to live it out for those who have not only ears to hear but eyes to see (and stomachs to fill). In any case, missionaries, ministry leaders, pastors, and people in the pews need to absorb and act upon the bracing and potentially life-changing message of this book.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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