Bruce Nuffer, ed. 180: Stories of People Who Changed their Lives by Changing Their Minds (Kansas City: The House Studio, 2010). ISBN 978-0830838561
Peter S. Migner
THE ARMINIAN MAGAZINE. Issue 2. Fall 2010. Volume 28.
Date Posted Nov, 2010, (Kansas City: The House Studio, 2010). ISBN 978-834125124
The book "180" by the House Studios (a new publishing arm of the Church of the Nazarene) is a recent publication being promoted to Nazarene pastors. The book is made up of 34 easy to read short testimonies of how men and women of various backgrounds and Christian heritages changed their minds and perspectives and became more tolerant. The stories seldom quote scripture and none of the stories seemed to reflect the Holy Spirit's conviction of heart, but rather the change of mind from life impacting moments. The book was something I would never expect to read from a "Christian Holiness Publishing House." The reader will find testimonies of people changing their own minds on various topics, but nothing reflecting a move of God in the writers' hearts leading to a life of holiness.
This is the type of book that will create damage among younger growing Christians as it really gives validity to humanistic thinking, heretical understanding of the fundamentals of the faith. Tolerance, evolution, hell and celibacy are embraced in this book as they would not have been a generation ago. Tolerance is lifted high as a virtue. Evolution is embraced as an acceptable value which one can have and maintain as a Christian. Hell is liberalized and narrowed as to who might actually go there. Celibacy and the Catholic Church are lifted to a place of favor as one writer shares growing up protestant and becoming celibate on the way to the priesthood. The validity of Scripture and moral absolutes are questioned and even denied. Doubt is recognized as a gift and open-mindedness and inclusiveness as a healthy viewpoint to hold. Not every story is controversial or doctrinally heretical, but the ones that are ruin the book for its full impact.
Where are the stories of people who were changed 180 degrees from darkness to light? Where are the inspirational stories of lives God touched in a radical way? I believe the Nazarene Church should be encouraging readers to pursue holiness of heart rather than confusion of the mind. God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. Most of these stories and opinions are very confused – the inevitable result of denying the authority of Scripture. This was a most unfruitful book and left me dismayed at the direction of the publishing house that published this book.