Uncovered: The Truth About Honesty And Community, by Rod Tucker
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Kregel Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.]
This is the sort of book that is difficult to place because it is both a painfully honest and painfully necessary message to contemporary Christendom while also a message that misses a great deal of biblical depth because of its own relative shallowness of understanding about God’s ways. This book is squarely within the social gospel tradition of focusing on public morality while showing itself to be full of compassion for those struggling with private sins, specifically the addiction to pornography (a struggle the author has faced) and homosexuality (which is referred to specifically in several chapters of this short book, which barely reaches 150 pages in length). It seems a bit characteristic of the social gospel school, typical of what might be termed “liberal” Christianity in general, that it is harsher on some sins than mainstream evangelical society and more gentle on others, rather than showing the same harshness towards sin and the same gracious love towards sinners of whatever stripe.
What this book gets right, it gets very right. Fortunately, that is most of the book, which begins in exploring the virtue of honesty as a way of life as a way of avoiding the behaviors of sewing fig leaves, hiding, and blaming so that we can be compassionate to others. The book then looks at church as a place where there should be communal honesty that is safe for all to be honest about their lives and their struggles, and then closes with an imaginative sort of look beyond ourselves to the light burden that God has placed on us. The book is full of stories and observations and many of these add to the story, although some of them are made up stories that did not add so much, and the scriptural references, even though mostly familiar, were also largely pointed as well. Those who read this book may find it a bit too political in nature , but hopefully they will recognize that honesty as a lifestyle, rather than hypocrisy, would greatly aid Christian credibility in a cynical world that knows that all have sinned but is mostly interested in poking at the sins of others rather than repenting of our own sins.
Where this book falls short is in its missing biblical depth and balance. This book is absolutely right to focus on the pivotal importance of honesty for believers in that we live our lives, as well as humility. That said, this book does not really have a good conception of what it means to be made into the image and likeness of God. The book has an implicit sort of wake up call to a Laodicean sort of church, with its blindness and nakedness and spiritual poverty, and yet the book does not even refer to the passage which would most easily legitimize its approach. Likewise, the book talks about how Christ makes our burdens light but totally misses a chance to connect the justice of God’s worldview to the Sabbath with its laws concerning freedom and debt forgiveness. A focus on this aspect of God’s ways would have combined the author’s obvious desire to praise grace and freedom with a defense against antinominanism that would be helpful for such an author. Sadly, the author of this book has no knowledge of the doctrine of the Sabbath and its connections with freedom and grace . While this book is still a worthwhile read, if a very politically biased one, it would have been so much better with a bit more awareness of what it was trying to do and the continuing validity of the Sabbath as a sign of God’s desire for the freedom of His children. Hopefully the author can correct these errors of omission in the future.
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