What Half Truths Do You Believe In? (book review)

“God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.”

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“God helps those who help themselves.”

Have you ever heard these sayings?  Perhaps you’ve said them yourself.  If you have I understand.  They sound thoughtful, insightful, or inspirational – but in reality they do a lot more harm than good.  Lots of familiar sayings that Christians throw around are not at all grounded in sound theology and when tested, they break down very fast.  Saying that “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” implies that God is the one who is causing that person whatever trouble, grief, or pain they are experiencing.  To share that “Everything happens for a reason” again is like telling someone that they deserve whatever happens – good OR bad and that certainly isn’t true.  And to say that “God helps those who help themselves” is to deny Jesus’ saving work by grace alone.

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Adam Hamilton addresses these sayings and a couple more in his book Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things The Bible Doesn’t Say. Typical of Hamilton’s work, the book is filled with a caring touch and an easy-to-understand explanation of exactly how these sayings can be devastating to those receiving them.  He deftly walks through the reasons why these “half truths” do more harm than good by even the most well-intentioned person, and he grounds it all in sound Biblical theology.  A short book at only 169 pages (short both in stature and in length) it makes for a great sermon series or Bible Study, but is also useful for those who have been hurt by such sayings or for someone seeking deeper truth into how God actually works.

Adam Hamilton explores pithy sayings often quoted by well-meaning Christians
Adam Hamilton explores pithy sayings often quoted by well-meaning Christians

I’ll be doing a three-week sermon series on this book so please feel free to use my material as a reference (I would appreciate if you would cite my website and work if you choose to do so).  Each week we will also have devotional material to go along with each sermon which will be published on our church Facebook page.  As always, feel free to email me on contact me on Facebook and Twitter with any questions.

Title: Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say
Author: Adam Hamilton
Cost: $19.99 (mini-hardcover)
Age: Adult
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Genre: Christian Life / Spiritual Growth

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