Book Review: Enemies of the Heart

Enemies of the Heart
By Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley, one of the most effective church leaders today, writes another practical work: this one on emotions gone bad. Diving into the core of the matter, Andy digs deep enough to start the hard work on overcoming our fluctuating feelings.

Andy Stanley is like the cool uncle who dispenses the best advice over a cup of hot coffee on a rainy day. His voice feels like inviting an old friend in your home: safe, reassuring, almost “by-golly” at times, with just the right balance of zip and patience. It’s why Pastor Andy is one of the bestselling preachers and writers for every age range, walk of life, among different communities and races, for the erudite scholar or the everyday layman. He has a cozy, broad appeal.

Enemies of the Heart is no different, as Pastor Andy covers the four most aggressive emotions that threaten to hurt us: Guilt, Anger, Greed, and Jealousy. Turning each of these into “debts” — such as Guilt becoming “I Owe You” — Pastor Andy gets to work on the diagnoses and the cure. While some would accuse him of being soft on doctrine, Stanley actually does a great job incorporating the Gospel into each of these emotions, showing how Jesus came to rescue us daily from the power of sin.

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Good Friday Sermon: Moral Conformity Vs. Missional Calling

Preached at the 30 Hour Famine at King’s Avenue Church in Brandon, FL.

Good Friday: Moral Conformity Vs. Missional Calling

Philippians 3. Taking hold of God’s Call. “The gracious God who will jackslap you upside your head, why I feel sorry for good-looking people, trading in your bike for a Dodge Viper, and our lives a billion years from now.” 4-6-12

Hey Preacher: That Loser You’re Talking About Is Me

The preacher says, “And only if he had walked out of that room, it all would’ve been different.”

The church nods, of course. Everyone agrees that getting your eyes gouged out by uncircumcised Philistines is pretty much an undesirable thing.

He adds, “He totally missed out on God’s Perfect Plan. All those blessings, gone.”

It’s a good way to increase offering. Keep the people scared, guilty, guessing, confused. You thought you would never see people fighting for the offering plate.

I remember first attending church those years ago, seeking for truth, hearing the preacher fire arrows at the drunks, the addicts, the divorced, the criminals, the perverts — and I kept thinking, But I’m that guy. I’m the guy he keeps talking about. That loser is me.

Sometimes the preacher reams on the consequences: but many of us are still living through them.

Might as well be yelling, Yeah, screw those guys! Those wicked, baby-hating, Wizard-of-Oz-loving, liberal-commie, vegan-environmentalist pagans! Am I right? Huh? The church keeps nodding.

But where is the grace for them? Does God love them less somehow? How does God feel when we fall off His Will?

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