Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Review: "From Tablet to Table"
Don’t buy this book.
I have just finished reading Leonard Sweet’s From Tablet to Table: where community is found and identity is formed.
Sweet begins by making the excellent point that churches that are losing members are not going to regain their members through methodologies and programs. The church must be what only the church can be – that is what makes the church different. We must focus on “finding our identity in Jesus” (2).
Sweet rightly warns that we ought not to have a faith that is hung merely on selected verses, but on the whole story of the Bible, and we ought to find ourselves telling and discussing the stories of the story over food, as we see so often exemplified in the Scripture (40).
Sweet goes on to show the value of family meals and meals with friends for unity, strength, and love – and these are all true – things which have largely been lost in modern American culture. But he strays away from the point of the story of the Bible.
In fact, he goes on to deny the story of the Bible:
Sweet states: “Thus the first untruth, the first lie, is that our sin has made God our enemy” (91).
Paul states: “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10, ESV).
Sweet states: “We are to be not imitators but incarnators of Christ” (57).
Paul states: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1, ESV).
Sweet states that the best definition of the Gospel he has ever heard is, “Jesus ate good food with bad people” (4).
Paul states: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve” (I Corinthians 15:3-5, ESV).
Sweet has taken an important issue for the Church, brought it forth, yet turned away from the very Gospel everyone needs to hear.
The issues surrounding hospitality and food in the Scripture, in our lives, and as a means of knowing the Gospel are profound ones.
There are very good books written on the subject, such as:
Tim Chester, A Meal with Jesus, http://smile.amazon.com/Meal-Jesus-Discovering-Community-Mission/dp/1433521369/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1437495722&sr=8-3&keywords=tim+chester
Robert J. Karis, Eating Your Way Through Luke’s Gospel, http://smile.amazon.com/Eating-Your-Through-Lukes-Gospel/dp/081462121X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437495797&sr=8-1&keywords=eating+your+way+through+luke
This book is not one of them.
[I received this book free for an honest review from Tyndale Publishing. This review appears on my blog and Amazon.com.] #FromTablettoTable http://smile.amazon.com/Tablet-Table-Community-Identity-Formed/dp/1612915817/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437495870&sr=8-1&keywords=from+tablet+to+table+sweet