Thursday, March 10, 2011

How Good is Good Enough?

“Since Nobody’s Perfect……How Good is Good Enough?” by Andy Stanley

This is a story about how can we get to heaven. Andy Stanley argues against the belief that “Good people go to heaven” (10). This is starting with the presupposition that there is a heaven to go to after death. If you don’t believe in heaven, then this book is not right for you. The idea that only good people go to heaven is troubling for Stanley. How do we determine what good is and how much good does a person have to do? Is there a scale of goodness and where does one have to fall on the scale to be allowed through those pearly gates. Are we rejected if we fall one good deed short? It does point to the flaw in this type of thinking.

Stanley does say that “the logic behind good people go to heaven is seemingly impenetrable on two accounts. First, it is fair. Second, it coincides with the notion that there is a good God.” (19) He deals with a good God notion first in the book and with the fairness issue at the end of the book.

I did appreciate the analogy that he uses in his argument that only good people go to heaven by using the bible story of the thief on the cross next to Jesus. That argues against the only good people go to heaven worldview and against the fairness all in one fell swoop. The thief wasn’t good and it wasn’t fair that he lived a life of crime and yet Jesus promises him heaven at the end of the day.

Stanley goes on to make the case for Christianity versus just following the Ten Commandments or other systems of rules and regulations for goodness. He says that if we are going to follow this particular set of rules, we can just pick and choose which Old Testament rules one follows. He says, “Christianity is the fairest possible system in a world that is irreversibly unfair.” (77) And let’s face it, in the end, we really don’t want to be judged on fairness, what we really want is mercy.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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