Continuing from Part 3; and this is the final post of this part 4 series.
Though I have already addressed many positive aspects of this book (e.g., Parts 1-3), let me now address some of the negatives.
First, failing to identify sin as sin (p. 33). For instance, undermining the pastor is not only morally and ethically wrong, but it is being divisive and helps gossipers even more. When there is a failure to obey the leader(s) with the attitude of joy, not only this would be unprofitable for the disobedient but it is also a sin (Hebrews 13:17).
Also, not only there is a failure to identify sin as sin, but it fails to provide biblical remedies in solving sins in the body. For instance:
The problem is that most church members imagine themselves as basically “nice,” willing to bend to keep the peace. This gives lots of leverage, sometimes complete control, to those hard-nosed people willing to make a public scene. The group usually gives them extra space, which translates into power – power to veto programs, to overrule pastors, to alter the direction of the church (p. 67).
Another negative aspect is citing questionable quotes such as one by Reinhold Niebuhr, “You may be able to compel people to maintain certain minimum standards by stressing duty, but the highest moral and spiritual achievements depend not upon a push but a pull. People must be charmed into righteousness” (p. 63). Where in Scripture does it ever imply that people must be charmed into righteousness?
Overall, the book reads like a personal journal entries of many pastors that I know (including myself). Hence the book is more of descriptions than prescriptions, thus it comes short of delivering the subtitle “ministering to problem people in the church.”