June 30, 2010

Book Review

Three Simple Rules - A Wesleyan Way of Living by Rueben P. Job

This is a small book and a quick read, less than 100 pages, that briefly looks at the three simple rules of living by Wesleyan standards. There are also guidelines for daily prayer at the end of the book.

The three simple rules are:
  • Do no harm
  • Do good
  • Stay in love with God
On the surface these are truly three simple rules. However, practicing and living by these rules is much more challenging.

The author attempts to back up the rules with Scripture and episodes from the life of Christ. However, the author does not go into enough detail to fully develop his practical application of the three simple rules.

I also noticed a couple of "liberal" ideas slipped into the book.

For example, on page 27 the author writes, "Yet, even a casual reading of the gospel suggests that Jesus taught and practiced a way of living that did no harm."

Really? When I "casually" read the account of Jesus and the demon possessed man in the country of the Gadarenes I see Jesus casting the demons into a herd of pigs which all run off a cliff and drown in the water below.

The pigs were obviously harmed, but beyond that the farmers lost their livelihood. Yes, I know Jesus didn't "harm" the pigs or the farmers and I am familiar with the permissive will of God. My point is that a casual reading of the Gospel probably will find Jesus doing "harm." Jesus was/is not the nice guy that many liberals teach that He was/is.

Another sentence I have issue with is on page 31. "To do no harm means that I will be on guard so that all my actions and even my silence will not add injury to another of God's children or to any part of God's creation."

Again, I say really? Is this how Jesus lived? I know Jesus served fish, even for breakfast one morning. I don't know the details about how he prepared it, but I suspect harm did come to the fish.

If I remember correctly, and I do, Jesus also spoke some harsh words to the Scribes, Pharisees, and others.

In conclusion, this book does provide some good material, but not enough to make it a recommended read. If however, you are looking for something quick to read and think about then this would be an okay book.

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