(You can buy Broken here or here)
First, I’d like to mention that I’ve read through this book twice since I bought it a few years ago. Because of how relevant the message is, and because of how well is lays out the pitfalls of postmodern American Christianity, I found it worthy of a re-reading. It is a great overview and summary of the dangers of 7 “Christian” rules that every Christian ought to break as often as possible.
When I first read through this book, it really struck me just how common and ingrained false doctrine is in much of modern Christianity. It didn’t take me long to realize that some of the mistakes pointed out in this book were mistakes that I had made in the past. The scary part is that I didn’t even realize I was making these mistakes. The false mentalities and principles mentioned in this book are the some of the same ideals that saturate American culture, such as prosperity and “pursuing happiness,” even at the expense of the gospel. These false doctrines are, sadly, woven into much of Christianity. This book helps to discern between true spirituality and false doctrine. Most of the trendy mega-churches in America focus their marketing and advertising on the younger generation. Behind the warm and inviting facade of praise bands and slick graphic design lurk doctrinal errors and the careless handling of Law and Gospel. Because of these dangers, Broken is a must-read for young Christians who are susceptible to the influences of the present age.
Not only does Broken lay out the dangers of false man-centered religion, it also offers a critique on American Christianity, pointing out how these man-centered doctrines are hiding within much of Christianity. It’s not really a secret that Christianity is on the decline in America. It’s just something we don’t like to admit. Broken seeks to equip Christians with the tools and principles needed to take back Christianity from the false teachers.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
Matthew 7:15 (ESV)
Curiousity has gotten me with this book.
I intend to look up the author and his background before I decide whether to use resources to get this book.
If you want some more info, Pastor Fisk heads the Worldview Everlasting YouTube podcast.
He is a Pastor of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, and I am a huge fan of everything he puts out. He explains things clearly and in language that most laymen can understand. There are also quite a few Issues, Etc. radio discussions featuring Pastor Fisk as a guest.
I will check it out. ironically I went to the Missouri Synod growing up. Mom dressed me in a 3 piece suit ( yes, an inside vest and clip on TIGHT tie). Used it in Sunday school as well. I have heard Issues, etc from Christian pirate radio.
I enjoyed BROKEN — it’s like a book version of Fisk’s YouTube videos, random film references and all — and for many, it says what they need to hear. Christianity as seen in America (and you know what I mean: the celebrity-and-feelings driven, Jesus-flavored deism devoid of Word and Sacrament) *is* fundamentally broken, so for many, Fisk’s book is a step in the right direction.
However, I would also point you to Anthony Sacramone’s BROKEN review over at Strange Herring. He says some things worth considering, like how Lutherans sometimes articulate the law-gospel distinction in a less than helpful way (in this respect, he sees a few blind spots in BROKEN).
I can see how non-Lutherans would be critical of how the book is presented. Broken doesn’t put much focus on living a “Christian life” of new obedience to Christ. In Fisk’s defence, that’s not the main focus of the book. It’s more of a handbook on what kinds of false gospels to avoid. I do think it does a nice job of emphasizing the true gospel – Christ himself has accomplished the work of salvation, called up by name in our baptism, and now preserves us in the true faith. I know a lot of Evangelicals/Baptists/other non-Lutherans get an impression that Lutherans don’t teach enough about the new obedience or the Christian life – and I can see why they would say that. Perhaps I might write an article on this topic and how Lutherans handle the importance of faith with works.