In summary, I have to say that I have mixed feelings about the booklet, Two Ways to Live: The Choice We All Face. Examining this booklet has been much like viewing a vast city at a distance through a camera’s wide-angle lens. From a distance, the city looks majestic with its impressive skyscrapers and enormous size. When you zoom in, however, you begin to notice unattractive details that were invisible beforehand, such as litter, traffic congestion, poverty, and so on. In a similar manner, this booklet gives a favorable impression when viewed from a general, zoomed-out vantage point because, broadly speaking, it contains a complete gospel presentation, covering the topics of God, sin, Jesus Christ, repentance and faith. Zooming in on each section, however, exposes some glaring problems that show this gospel presentation to be not as great as it looked before.

That leaves us with two important questions: 1) Does this booklet present “another gospel”? and 2) Should we use it? Quite obviously, the answer to the second question depends on one’s answer to the first. I for one am not prepared to say that this booklet presents another gospel. The fact of the matter is that it does offer a generally complete message about God, humanity’s sin, Jesus Christ, and man’s need to repent and believe. Even though it weakens the message by making it man-centered and avoiding any mention of certain unpleasant truths, weakening something does not necessarily transform it into something else. What is it, then? Put simply, it is a good start, but it is in dire need of being revised to correct its various deficiencies.

If this booklet does not, in fact, present another gospel, it is not so easy to arrive at an answer to the second question: Should we use this booklet in evangelism? I would say that, in light of the deficiencies it contains, there are better materials that could be used. This, however, does not mean that I wouldn’t give it to someone in a pinch. If I were having a conversation with someone at a coffee shop, for example, and I had nothing else to leave with him but this booklet, I suppose I would give it to him. I don’t think I would lose any sleep over it, knowing that it does not present another gospel. I would not purchase any to use in evangelism, however, nor would I recommend it to other Christians to use in their outreach.

2 Responses to Conclusion of Review: “Two Ways to Live: The Choice We All Face” (Part Five)

  • william says:

    Hi Jeremy, I appreciate your critique on the two ways to live tract and the conviction to publish your concerns about it. My opinion is however that you have not yet realised that the tract is actually a total gospel opposite all the way through. One only needs to ask a few simple questions to expose it`s shameful message.

    1 Who chooses who is saved? Is this God`s preogative or mans? . The word says God chooses – not man John 15:16. The entire tract is built on this false foundation and is against the purpose of God according to election- Rom 9:11. The tract is a total gospel opposite from start to finish just on this one point.
    2 . The tract implies many times that Gods love is upon all men. The Apostles did not preach the love of God indescriminately to all men. Just read through Acts and see if you can find it anywhere preached to anyone. This was not the gospel of the apostles – it is an addition and distortion of Gospel truth.
    3 The tract states ” Jesus offers us new life”. However, the gospel is not an offer, nor does it present just the possibility of salvation. The Gospel is a declaration to all men of the person and finished work of Christ Jesus . He has already saved every single one of his people – every single one has been redeemed by His blood, and secured in their everlasting salvation – Heb 9. The Gospel simply brings this truth to light 2 Tim 1:9-10.
    4 The tract encourages men to ” get rid of old rebellious habits … and start some new ones that please God”. What an ingenious way to make people think that they are pleasing to God apart from Christ. Do religious people really think they can hold up their filthy rags for God to commend? Is 64:6. Is God pleased with us one day and then displeased with us the next moment we stumble?
    This message is for the religious self-righteous pharasee, not the child of God.

    Jeremy, These are the bare bones of my rejection of two ways to live. There is quite a lot more that can be said about it`s deceitful message – If you believe in the gospel of God`s free grace, and that salvation is all of God, then please don`t pussy foot around with deciding whether it is false or not. If you can`t recommend it…. then it is not the gospel!

  • Jeremy says:

    Hi William,

    Thanks for your comments. I don’t have the tract available, so I will have to respond to your points as best as I can on memory alone. I’ll respond to your points one at a time:

    “1 Who chooses who is saved? Is this God`s preogative or mans? . The word says God chooses – not man John 15:16. The entire tract is built on this false foundation and is against the purpose of God according to election- Rom 9:11. The tract is a total gospel opposite from start to finish just on this one point.”

    I agree 100% that God chooses who is saved. The only way that any person will ever choose Christ is if/when God chooses him first and regenerates him. Only then will he come to Christ. I fully believe in the biblical teaching that God elected those to be saved before the foundation of the world, and that He did so apart from any consideration of what good or evil they do in this life. I affirm 100% that those who come to Christ do so because they are drawn by God, and those who so come to Christ are those given by the Father to the Son–a select body of believers, not all men. I have to admit, though, that I’m a bit confused as to how you conclude that the booklet goes against sovereign divine election. Is there a particular quote that made you suspect this? Please be specific.

    “2 . The tract implies many times that Gods love is upon all men. The Apostles did not preach the love of God indescriminately to all men. Just read through Acts and see if you can find it anywhere preached to anyone. This was not the gospel of the apostles – it is an addition and distortion of Gospel truth.”

    Yes, God’s *saving* love is not upon all men. The Bible affirms that God “hates” those who work iniquity. But how does the tract specifically imply that God’s love is upon all? Again, please be specific.

    “3 The tract states ” Jesus offers us new life”. However, the gospel is not an offer, nor does it present just the possibility of salvation. The Gospel is a declaration to all men of the person and finished work of Christ Jesus . He has already saved every single one of his people – every single one has been redeemed by His blood, and secured in their everlasting salvation – Heb 9. The Gospel simply brings this truth to light 2 Tim 1:9-10.”

    I agree. The gospel involves commands; hence Paul spoke of those who do not “obey the gospel” in 2 Thess. 1:8, and Christ gave what were clearly two commands in Mark 1:15: “repent and believe in the gospel.” Christ is not merely making an offer; He has already paid for the sins of those who believe in Him.

    “4 The tract encourages men to ” get rid of old rebellious habits … and start some new ones that please God”. What an ingenious way to make people think that they are pleasing to God apart from Christ. Do religious people really think they can hold up their filthy rags for God to commend? Is 64:6. Is God pleased with us one day and then displeased with us the next moment we stumble? This message is for the religious self-righteous pharasee, not the child of God.”

    I’m not sure about what you say here. When the authors spoke of getting rid of old rebellious habits and starting new ones that please God, I think that they were just saying “repent” without using the word “repent.” After all, when you repent, that is what you are doing: changing your ways. You leave behind old ways and adopt new ways that God wants. So they were telling people essentially to repent. That is in accordance with the gospel message; in fact, if a gospel presentation left out the command to repent, *that* would be a distortion. You can’t tell someone to believe in Christ without telling them to repent because faith and repentance are flip sides of the same coin; you can’t have one without the other.

    Even if people cannot change their ways on their own, they still must be told to do so. Likewise, people cannot believe without God’s enabling, but they still must be told to believe. The man with the withered hand could not stretch it out–he was physically unable to–but Christ told him to do so anyway. Lazarus was completely unable to arise and come forth from the tomb, yet Christ commanded him to do so. Why? Because along with the divine command comes the divine power–for those for whom it is intended, that is. So telling people to change their ways is not wrong at all: It is telling them what they *should* do, not what they *can* do.

    But if a self-righteous person finds that appealing, so what? Does that make the exhortation wrong? Not at all. God’s commandments tell people to do various things–don’t lie, love your neighbor, love God, don’t steal, etc.–and to do so perfectly. That is not wrong because it is what people *should* do. God does not lower His holy standards to accommodate sinful man. Yet Paul wrote in Romans that the Jews totally misinterpreted the law in a self-righteous way: “Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. … For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God” (Romans 9:31-32, 10:3). By your reasoning, we should denounce the Ten Commandments as a mistake on God’s part because they have been misinterpreted in a self-righteous way, but I don’t think you would do that.

    “Jeremy, These are the bare bones of my rejection of two ways to live. There is quite a lot more that can be said about it`s deceitful message – If you believe in the gospel of God`s free grace, and that salvation is all of God, then please don`t pussy foot around with deciding whether it is false or not. If you can`t recommend it…. then it is not the gospel!”

    I don’t think I “pussy-footed around” at all. Declaring something to be another gospel is a serious charge, and I don’t do it lightly, so I was very careful when I examined the booklet. I still think that it presents what a person needs to know to be saved and how man should respond to the gospel message (believe and repent). It presents God’s displeasure with sin as well as the punishment for sin, though very weakly. It also presents what Christ did on the cross as well as man’s required response. As I pointed out in my post, just because something is weakened does not necessarily mean that it has become something else. A weakened gospel is not necessarily another gospel. To show that “Two Ways to Live” really does present another gospel, you’d have to demonstrate that it can lead someone away from Christ by pointing to some other way to be saved other than the blood of Christ alone. That was Paul’s issue with the Galatian church when he warned them (Gal. 1) about another gospel. Judaizers had gotten into the church there and had started spreading their lie that Christians had to be circumcised in addition to trusting the work of Christ. So they were contradicting the doctrine of faith alone–a vital teaching that is central to the gospel because without it you end up with works-righteousness, i.e., Christ’s work plus our own.

    I have issues with the booklet, but mine are not the same as yours. My main issue with it is that it is terribly man-centered. Perhaps that makes it another gospel, though I’m not sure about that.

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About the Author



The author of this blog, Jeremy (Jehanne), is a Catholic who strives to think God's thoughts after Him and obey Christ's exhortation to take up the cross daily and follow Him on the way to Golgotha. He likes reading theology, evangelizing, and, of course, writing.