God is in the dock. Shall we convict him or forgive him? Shall we replace the God of Scripture with another of our choosing, mock and deride him, or ignore him? Shall we replace revelation with the chaos of speculation? We perceive ourselves, rather than God, as the center of the world and this universal condition leads to conflict with others and with God. Maintaining our center causes cheating, lying, litigation, divorce, wars, genocide, and human misery. Western civilization is giving up trust in the promise of God's mercy, justice, and forgiveness and replacing it with trust in the goodness of man. Jesus warned us to beware the teaching of the Sadducees and Pharisees. The Sadducees, who denied hope of eternal life, are a rough equivalent of our modern day secularists with their religious trust that this world is all there is. Replacing God with trust in flawed human nature is a mark of arrogance that even pagans would have characterized as hubris evoking divine wrath. The Pharisee's yeast of self-righteousness is a natural condition of us all. Even when cleansed it reappears in every tradition rendering forgiveness and transformation a promise only for those who think they have earned and deserve it. Such a distortion of God's word is congenial to our self-as-center, but it robs us sinners of the justice and mercy of a loving God. Following Jesus's warning we have the opportunity to wipe away the Sadducee arrogance and the Pharisee self-righteousness and discover anew the supreme power and joy of the Christian faith. ""I started this book in an arm chair and finished it on my knees. Here is a rich treasury of insights and observations from a life well lived and thought, one that adds up to a profound and moving testimony to the wonder of the gospel and God's grace."" --Os Guinness author of The Call ""This book is a distillation of much wisdom and Allison wears his learning lightly. It warns us against two opposite dangers: moralism without the spiritual and tolerance without morality. Against these, he places the fullness of the Christian faith where trust in Christ's work frees us from the unendurable guilt and gives us the grace to repent of our shortcomings and seek to fulfill God's purposes for ourselves and for his world."" --Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali C. FitzSimons Allison is in active retirement as the former Episcopal Bishop of South Carolina. He is the author of Fear, Love and Worship (1962), The Rise of Moralism (1966), Guilt, Anger and God (1972), and The Cruelty of Heresy (1994).