I just finished reading Andrew Farley’s “Heaven is Now: Awakening Your Five Spiritual Senses to the Wonders of Grace.” To be honest, I have not been too impressed with Farley’s works. I feel as if much of his writings (I read “The Naked Gospel” a couple of years ago) are imbalanced. He only speaks of grace. And before I go any further, I know what many of you are thinking – isn’t grace enough? How can you argue with someone who says that Jesus has done it all and we cannot and should not do anything in response? Pretty tough place to be put in.
But I believe there is that place. The cross is more than sufficient. But my response must be trust and obedience. I don’t read any action steps in Farley’s books. And they are a bit redundant. He says the same thing over and over in slightly different ways. A lack of depth.
That being said, I do appreciate his voice in our movement – I just don’t think it should be the only voice. He is the perfect author for someone who was raised in a legalistic setting. Or maybe he isn’t. Maybe that person needs more balance rather than more imbalance?
But I did appreciate the first chapter of the book. He writes, “The law doesn’t encourage or praise us. Being under law is like being married to an abusive perfectionist (194).
The Apostle Paul suggests, “Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slavet nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:21-29, ESV).
Obviously we need to be reminded over and over and over again that we have been saved. But what about being sent? We have been liberated from the sin and law that we might live in Christ and be empowered on the mission.
I am interested to see if Farley expands on these topics in the future.