Turning from Judgment to the Love of God. We human beings are burdened by our tendencies to harshly judge others and ourselves. Unfortunately for believers, this bent is as prevalent in the church as in the world. Pastor and author Gregory A. Boyd calls readers to a higher standard through understanding the true manner in which God views humanity as infinitely worthwhile and lovable. Only an attitude shift in how we perceive ourselves in light of God's love can impact how we relate to people and transform our judgmental nature. Believers wrestling with the reality of God's love and Christians struggling with judging in the local church will appreciate this examination of how we move from a self-centered to a Christ-centered life. (recommended by Bill Tibert and Danny Lehman)
This is an excellent read in which Boyd was able to simplify some of the more complex writings by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (killed in a Nazi concentration camp) who had an amazing insight into the Scriptures and their application (see Creation and Fall and Cost of Discipleship).
The main thesis of the book is this; either we are walking with the Lord on a daily basis from a perspective of judging others (eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) or walking in love (eating from the tree of life!).
I found the spiritual application of the two trees to be enlightening as I seek to follow Jesus who â€œcame not to judge the world but to save the world.â€ Drawing on some great illustrations, Boyd suggests that we ask ourselves a simple question whenever we encounter anyone: Am I walking in love or am I walking in judgment?
He gives practical advice on how to deal with what he calls â€œRage of the Phariseesâ€ which is his synonym for judgmental, critical, mean-spirited Christians who love to criticize others. He contrasts that with the way of Jesus, who (while not compromising) exhibited humility and tolerance, and believed the best about others. IÃ¢d give this one a 10, on a scale of 1-10.