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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Book Review: Dual Citizens by Stellman


We Christians are first citizens of the kingdom of God, and then of the earthly country in which we reside. How does this dual citizenry look? What Biblical examples exist? I was looking forward to this book, especially since moving to India has made me analyze what about my faith is pure Christianity and what is disguised American culture?

You know that old nursery rhyme about the girl with curl who “when she was good she was very, very good and when she was bad she was horrid?” Well horrid is too harsh for this book but when it was good it was quite compelling and when it was bad it was disjointed and less than coherent. Some chapters made me want to cheer, some left me puzzled as to why he even bothered including it, and some presented lengthy and verbose arguments for concepts I took to be a given (which was actually quite interesting, since through the case presented I learned about strange theories I’d never considered.) At times I wondered if it was a series of essays that were attempted to be edited together.

One chapter I found peculiar and unsatisfactory was a chapter on the Sabbath which referenced Christians from the 1800s but never mentioned Romans 14:5, which shows debate about this reaches back to the first century. The Bible encourages to make this choice individually and not be divisive.

This book was clearly written by a seminary graduate for other seminarians. I understood it, but it was not approachable. I also felt sometimes I’d read two pages and then lean back to digest it and say, Okay, so he meant…” and summarize it in one or two paragraphs.

I would recommend this book, if it sounds up your alley. However, I admit I was looking forward to the book the description provided… and I feel like I still want to read that book, but didn’t receive it.

I received this book free from Reformation Trust in exchange for my unbiased review.

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