Contend: Defending the Faith in a Fallen World by Aaron Armstrong (Cruciform Press, 2012) offers a manageable and concise look at what really matters when contending for the faith. Far from accusatory, Armstrong’s descriptive writing style weaves together fundamental doctrines with the need for grace and love. This small book begins by highlighting changes within recent church and cultural history, specifically the development of an anti-division, pro-unity Millennial outlook within the church. In Armstrong’s words, “Tie these threads together and you get a tangled, messy knot characterized by a de-emphasis of doctrine leading to a largely rudderless unity-for-its-own-sake kind of unity” (Armstrong 14). Rather than blaming one specific group, Armstrong claims that both the seeker-sensitive and fundamentalist movements are responsible for the dearth of solid Gospel-centered teaching in churches today. And this is why we must contend. In fact, Armstrong says that it is ludicrous to not defend the truth about someone we love. In some ways, this book could be considered a simple handbook to the defining doctrines of Christianity, complete with practical means of upholding and applying these doctrines. This powerful book will not allow you to remain sitting on the sidelines, but it does give you the tools to stand up and fight for truth with love and grace.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Cruciform Press blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”