Most everything about Bound Together, from the God it calls our attention to and the implications of its thesis is counter-cultural. There is nothing in this post-modern individualistic and hedonistic world we live in that honestly considers how we affect others and how others affect us. Enter Bound Together.
Bound Together takes this worldview, binds it with a rope until it cries uncle under the convincing weight of the biblical evidence that human beings were always intended, currently affected by, and will continue to impact other people. Bound together shows us how relationships, both personal and in the community, affect us in both good and bad. Humans were designed to live in community, not isolation. This is the Principle of the Rope.
Honestly, the first couple chapters are a bit depressing. Brauns takes all of humanity and shows us how scripture and existential evidence shows us how all humans are intertwined, we are woven together into this fabric called humanity by a master weaver who has the authority, skill and sovereignty to take each individual strand and all of its baggage and create a masterpiece like a fine Persian rug that shines to glorify his workmanship. The problem is, in Brauns first few chapters, rightly so, he shows us how all humanity is bound under the federal headship of Adam and the necessary consequence of his original sin is imputed to all of us. Brauns shows us biblically that humans are indeed bound together not only the good, but in the bad. I am glad he took an honest look at original sin. To have avoided it to be more palatable would have done no justice to the Bible and would have unraveled his principle of the rope.
But how refreshing it is to see the first signs of Spring after the dreariness of the cold Winter. Brauns in many ways seems to lay out a very convincing understanding of the biblical Gospel in his Principle of the Rope. Not only does he show us how desperately we need Gospel hope after being bound by the rope of Adam’s sin, he goes on to make a case that we can be bound by faith through the scarlet thread of Jesus’s righteousness. Through Jesus’ righteous acts, Adam’s sinfulness we have a lifeline. Literally.
What if we were not bound? Would we choose otherwise? How can a good God bind us? Simply, Brauns anticipates this as anyone would who is as informed enough to write a book that smacks individualism right across the face with a sobering blow of biblical truth. Brauns shows us biblically, that our individualism is not contrary to our collective entanglement, they are mutually exclusive. We would have chosen sin anyways.
Finally, Brauns spends some time comparing and contrasting this principle with the pervasive worldview of our culture and how it should inform the believer to live his life in family and marriage as well as country and culture.
Bound Together is a unique work in that it touches on several critical issues of today. Apart from just sharing the gospel with you it is a guided tour through the follies of contemporary culture and the hope and truth of being bound with others and by others to Jesus Christ through these various areas and topics:
- Christian Community and the local church
- Marriage and Family
- Country and culture
- Gospel need, Gospel Hope (or Gospel Rope I should say), and Gospel assurance
This book was provided in return for an honest and thoughtful review through Cross-Focused Reviews.