Skip to main content

Bound Together





Bound Together: How We Are Tied to Others in Good and Bad Choices by Chris Brauns

Pastor Chris Brauns takes on a timely and significant subject in his new book entitled Bound Together.  He goes on to explain by writing, “Our future and our place in this world aren’t simply the sum of our own individual choices.  On varying levels, we are roped together with others.  When someone we are roped to is lifted up, we are lifted up with them” (25).  Whether it’s the elementary class getting no recess for the actions of one person or a family bearing the consequences of having one of its members lose their driver’s license, we are all bound together and thus our decisions radically affect those around us.  Brauns goes on to explain how this principle works itself out in the Biblical story as well, by citing the examples of the flood in Noah’s day and the destruction that ensued at Sodom and Gomorrah.  Brauns explains the principle of the rope, that we are bound together by writing, “the decisions and choices made by God’s representative leaders have consequences for their people” (32).  Numerous examples abound here, but Brauns points out that the lives of God’s people were demonstrably affected by the leadership of David, Achan, Solomon and others.

In Chapter 2, the subject of the Fall and its effect on the entire creation is taken up.  Using Reformed sources from John Murray, Michael Horton to the Westminster Confession with the Scriptures, Brauns outlines the principle of the rope in connection to the Fall by understanding both federalist and realist versions of the argument.  The federalist teaching sees Adam as our representative and “Because Adam represented us, his actions and decisions had a determinative effect on our future” (46).  The realist view teaches that all of Adam’s descendants were really present when he sinned (46).  Transmission isn’t entirely necessary because all of Adam’s descendants were present at the Fall.   Brauns goes onto explain that neither view fully captures the full weight of our union with Adam and the disastrous consequences of the fall.  The federalist view captures the representative nature of the fall while the realist view captures the organic and vital union that we have with Adam (48).  This type of reasoning is helpful in seeing the various ways the fall has been transmitted to us through Adam.

In the chapter on The Rope That is Stronger, Brauns seeks to provide a remedy for the precarious situation that humans find themselves as a result of Adam and their being sinners.  This solution is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.  Chris writes, “In other words, though we are all roped Adam in a negative way, it is now possible for us to be roped to the Lord Jesus Christ in a positive way….Christ now throws a lifeline to rescue us.  He severs our tie to Adam and binds us to himself.  It is critical to note that Paul is not suggesting we are now roped to both  Adam and Christ” (58).  The very work of Christ in his death and resurrection erases the solidarity we have in Adam and binds us to Christ.  This good news as outlined in Romans 5 has the burden of providing not only hope for the hopeless but provides a final remedy for sin.  We are no longer under the domain of darkness but serve a King who has won the victory and triumphed over death and darkness by his very life. 

What I really enjoyed about this book is that way Chris outlined the eminent value of understanding our union with Christ.  In the chapter on Bound to a New King, he outlines the images of union with Christ that we find in the Bible; from the temple, to a vine, to a body.  For hurting families, Chris mentions that “the rope to Christ and the gospel is exceedingly stronger than the rope to Adam and sin.  The good news is good more than the bad news is bad” (129).  One more time Chris mentions that our union with Christ has a vital connection to how we view death, giving us hope and alleviating the dread that falls on many as they approach the end of life (154).  These practical considerations bring to life how doctrines, specifically union with Christ, are not some old dusty arcane idea, but a living and breathing teaching.  Furthermore, as Chris indicates, the tie that binds to Christ is much greater than our connection to Adam, thus, we can have a strong foundation in the worst of times, from marriages to the disintegration of families.    Lastly, I thought the way Chris worked through parts of the book of Hebrews was a real help in understanding both sin and union with Christ (in other words, this will preach).
T
his book was a book that of great substance and practical value, giving hope to the hurting and encouragement for all those struggling with sin.

Thanks to Cross Focused Reviews and Zondervan for the review copy of this book in exchange for review. 

Comments

  1. Spencer,

    Thanks for contributing to the blog tour.

    Shaun Tabatt
    Cross Focused Reviews

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Growing up with the NIV, the NKJV was not a bible I was familiar with.  This new NKJV Study Bible takes all of the features of the Thomas Nelson Study Bible and makes them better.  Right out of the box I noticed that the Bible was considerably lighter than most study bibles I have read.  Further, the text font was much larger than most study editions, although I’m not quite sure of the size. The aquamarine color was a great touch and the Bible was finely put together, enduring the wear of many coming years of use.
Why is this Bible worth the purchase?  First, the study notes were great for extra handling of particular confusing and messy areas of Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments.  Yet, the study notes aren’t an obstruction to the reading of the biblical text.  Clearly, the editors have taken great care in making the text stand out and the notes illuminate certain themes and areas of Scripture.  Second, the NKJV takes into account all t…