Critique vs. criticism

If you have not picked up Jesus Outside the Lines by Scott Sauls, you are missing out on a great book.  I think this book should be required reading for all in church leadership and every Christian. Why?  Because in the church, we are horrible at dealing with disagreements.  We take sides. We hurt people.  This book is a breath of fresh air for me and I think it will be for you too.  Here are some quotes from his chapter on "Affirmation or Critique":

Jesus was offensive to smug, judgmental, religious people. He was a breath of fresh air to broken, nonreligious people.

This longing for affirmation makes sense. Both existentially real and biblically true, it is reason we Christians should be the most affirming people in the world.

Have we grown accustomed to relationally including and excluding others based on a list of spoken or unspoken "clean laws" that have no basis in Scripture? Have we grown accustomed to scolding others for certain sins while exempting ourselves from judgment over other sins that we commit daily?

Because an affirming critique always comes from the motive of restoring and building up, unlike criticism, which aims to harm and tear down...Affirming critics stand for and on behalf of one another, not against one another.

That's what Christians do when they are in their right minds. They start with themselves. They examine and address the flaws in themselves before they examine and address the flaws in others.

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