Hate the sin but love the sinner is the gist of the paradox explored in this slender point-of-purchase book by minister Alcorn. The author of Deadline draws on his experiences of getting "pro-abortion" activists, unbelieving academics and his "resistant" father to see the light to argue that Christians must display grace-a spirit of humility, love and inclusion-while also insisting on the truth of Christian doctrine.
Truth without grace, he asserts, yields a self-righteous Pharisaism, while grace without truth leads to "moral indifference" and a dilution of Christ's message. Alcorn writes in a contemporary idiom, likening grace and truth to a binary star system or the twin strands of the DNA double helix. But his is a traditional evangelical outlook that combines Biblical literalism, hell-fire and a deep acknowledgment of personal sin. Alcorn registers his fundamentalist views on such topics as relativism on campus, the fallacy of Darwinism and Oprah Winfrey's "have-it-your-way designer religion." But he also chides Christians for their holier-than-thou attitudes ("Jesus," he warrants, "would preach five sermons against self-righteous churches for every one against taverns") and compares himself with evil-doers ("I am Dahmer. I am Mao") in attesting to the fallen state of all humanity and their dependence on God's unmerited grace for salvation. Firm but forbearing, Alcorn's tract is a dose of old-time religion in a smooth modern formulation.