Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wide Open Spaces...to vomit
So I recently finished reading Jim Palmer's Wide Open Spaces and I have to be honest. I did not like it. Palmer offers a unique take on just about every aspect of the Christian life. Some of these views are challenging and eye opening. Others are so unique that I have never heard them before...anywhere...like the Bible.
Palmer is a former pastor who has left organized church and is starting to meet with people in his home for worship. I have nothing against this per say, however in the midst of his "Different Strokes for Different Folks" approach he definitely shares the positives of his approach and the negatives of organized church. He is saying that we can worship how we want...but his way is best.
Of course he also believes that "the devil" is simply being negative and believing your negative thoughts. Which means that Jesus had split personality and was talking with himself in the desert.
He also has an interesting take on what the world would look like if everyone loved. He thinks that there would be no crime (I would agree), no courts (I kind of agree), and of course no hospitals (I do not agree). It is a far fetched idea that there will be peace before the return of Christ, but even if it happened...we would still need hospitals. Palmer's basis is that sickness is based on not being loved. My opinion is that when someone loses control of their car and wraps it around a tree it is not because they are not loved.
I do want to make it sound like there are no redeeming qualities in the book. There are some challenging ways of looking at how we interact with people of different faiths that I think every Christian should hear. But on the whole the book is lacking.
Palmer sums up his book which I think will point to why I left the book with a bad taste in my mouth. He ends it with a quote from a band that claims that if everyone loved that nobody would die. It is as if death has become a bad thing. Paul said that to die was gain. It is not something to fear, it is not something that would go away if we all met in South Dakota for a big group hug.
Not only that but the band he quoted was...Nickleback...oh depravity.