Tolerance, Externalism and Holiness (book review)

Title: Tolerance, Externalism And Holiness
Author: Blair Adams with Howard Wheeler
Publisher: Colloquium Press
Date: 2009
Pages: 284

Tolerance, Externalism And Holiness (book review)

One of the common terms that is often heard in America is ‘tolerance’. People are told to be tolerant of other people’s beliefs, feelings and thoughts. This is often thrown at believers and is called a crime if one is not ‘tolerant’ of other’s beliefs and actions.

Blair takes a look at what tolerance means in both the world view and in the view of scripture. Using examples from history, both ancient and more modern, Scriptural and non-Scriptural, he points out how the world is demanding tolerance to the point of not having any standards. He uses sources that are both Christian based and secular based. It is shown how the church has chosen to become more like the world and be more tolerant of sin, than what Christ is.

Many will claim (both in the church and outside the church) that believers are being legalistic if they hold to any concrete standard and are not ‘tolerant’ of sinful practices. He takes a look at how scriptures set forth many standards to be holy and what that means to a believer.

One thing he is very quick to point out is that living by a holy standard is not legalistic if done out of love for God, His commands and love for others.

Throughout this book Blair looks at arguments that are often brought against setting rock solid foundations. The two primary areas he looks at are how one dresses and how one keeps his/her hair. There is also a look at sexual practices and beliefs and how those beliefs play into dress and hair.

Although this book is very hard hitting and writes at a higher level for most people, I highly recommend reading it. It will challenge your thinking and beliefs. It will cause you the question what you are seeing in the world today and how the church is currently responding.