Max Lucado’s, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior is a thought-provoking examination of the cross and some of the events leading up to, and surrounding, the crucifixion. In his typical style, Lucado breaks up the book into several very short chapters, so that the book is very easy to read. Each chapter focuses on a different person or perspective of Christ and His crucifixion.
To me, Max Lucado is immensely popular for two reasons. First, he is an unbelievably talented wordsmith. Second, he offers his readers comfort. Reading a Max Lucado book is like a warm blanket and a cup of hot chocolate–it may not change your life, but it sure feels good.
No Wonder They Call Him the Savior is no exception–it is an emotionally charged book that leaves the reader feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Unfortunately, that is about all it does. The book offers comfort without conviction.
It seems that to Lucado, the cross is a message of acceptance and tolerance. The word “tolerance” is actually found numerous times throughout the book, giving the reader the impression that God is “tolerant” of sin. I don’t know what Lucado’s definition of “tolerance” is, but tolerance seems to imply that God allows and accepts sin. “Tumble off the tightrope of what our Master expects,” Lucado writes, “and you land safely in his net of tolerance.”
I believe Lucado has a very skewed view of grace. Grace is not about God allowing, tolerating, or accepting sin; grace is about God forgiving sin! Paul writes in Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.”
Lucado says rightfully about grace, “We take our free gift and try to earn it or diagnose it or pay for it instead of simply saying ‘thank you’ and accepting it.” But I can’t help but wonder what, if anything, Lucado believes man must do to accept that gift of grace. Scripture teaches that man receives this gift of grace when he obeys the gospel (Romans 6:1-7; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). Yet Lucado never once, in a book about the cross, explains how man obeys the gospel.
There are many positive elements of the book, such as the way Lucado famously helps the reader to feel they are a part of the story. His talent for painting a picture in words is truly amazing. Yet, I can’t help but feel very disappointed that this God-given talent is being used to tickle the ears of readers (2 Timothy 4:3).
I love you and God loves you!
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