Who Are You to Judge? by David Swavely

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One thing you have to say about David Swavely – he is an equal opportunity offender. In this excellent volume on judging others, Swavely manages to offend almost every one of his readers. His premise is simple: “The sin of judging is negatively evaluating someone’s conduct or spiritual state on the basis of nonbiblical standards or suspected motives” (p. 8). With this definition most would probably agree – in principle. It is when this principle intersects our way of living that the trouble begins.

Who Are You to Judge? challenges our thinking in the areas of music, working mothers, birth control, gambling, alcohol consumption, demand feeding, frequency of the Lord’s Supper, home/Christian school vs. public school, fasting, movies, television, art and even coffee drinking.

Swavely is not content with abstract principles. If he were, he would probably attract more fans but, then again, his work would be far less valuable. The author wants to apply (these principles) to life—and here it gets sticky.

If Swavely doesn’t pull the rug out from under you on at least one of these, you would be the exception. And, according to the contents of this book, you would have escaped the error of legalism.

I like Dave Swavely, not just because he is bold (which he is) and not just because he writes clearly and understandably (which he does). I like him mostly because he is biblical. He takes every issue back to Scripture, examines it in the light of God’s Word, and refuses to go where God does not go. We need more authors like this. May his tribe increase.

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