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Cannabis and the Christian

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Member Reviews

An interesting read. Sadly I didn't agree with all the information shared by the author. Having experienced the effects of many legal and encuraged drugs on my family when in pain, it was sad to see this opinion. I believe all this need to be considered personally and looked into for each person's situation.
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I have not ran into a Christina book yet that tackles the questions about marijuana the way this book does.  This book was packed with scripture which is funny because the Bible has 0 verses on marijuana.  But as you can tell with all the scripture the Bible really does have ALOT to say about marijuana and things like it.  

Todd Miles is a very fair author as he gives opinions form all over about cannabis and the Christian and for the most part is not bias at all until the last chapter of the book which he spends time telling the reading his very own thoughts on everything.  It was done in a very well and tasteful way which you respect him a lot at the end for writing this book.  

I think my favorite part of this book was how much Todd pointed to Jesus.  He even had an entire chapter on discipleship.  I was reading a book on marijuana which i do not partake in, but at the end i felt like I had learned a lot more than just about the subject of marijuana.
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With cannabis being such a sensitive topic, yet widely relevant, I decided to read this book out of curiosity. This book is filled with interesting facts and relatable scenarios and in no way is one side or opinion favoured over the next. There is, thankfully, no direct yes or no answer, but there is enough to make you  question all your assumptions about this forbidden drug. I truly appreciate the openness shared in this book and the non-judgmental tone.
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A decade ago, marijuana has been declared a controlled drug, illegal for private consumption without a prescription. Times have changed. Countries in the West are starting to relax their controls to allow casual use of cannabis. With more countries and states jumping into the bandwagon of legalizing the use of pot, Christians would need to grapple with the reality and find out an appropriate response to this liberalization. Apart from the associated legal issues, one would need to consider the cultural, ethical, scientific, social, medical, as well as theological implications. In the past, things were pretty much straightforward. If it is against the law, parents could tell their kids not to use it. For states that are legalizing casual use, parents would have to reconsider their conventional approaches. Author and professor Todd Miles hit the popular speaker jackpot when he decided to talk about "Marijuana and the Minister" a few years ago. The upshoot in interest goes to show the pent-up need to understand the new cultural landscape. No more depending on the government to tell us what we could or could not do. We need to actively engage the issue on a biblical and theological basis. The challenge here is that as far as marijuana is concerned, we don't have any explicit instructions from the Bible. One key point Miles makes for anyone trying to understand the issue is this: "Our experiences shape our convictions, and they color the way we see and hear things." We must be careful of subjective biases that would tilt our interpretations. So the author aims to help us think about the issues theologically. He covers the following:

-   What is marijuana and how it works?
-   Risks of Marijuana use
-   The Christian and the Law
-   The Bible and Marijuana
-   Discipleship and Marijuana
-   Medical Marijuana
-   Thinking Christianly about Medical Marijuana

Without prejudging marijuana use, Miles takes a step back to describe what cannabis is used for, both positive and negative effects. He explains the terms, the scientific names, as well as how cannabis works. The first chapter is particularly enlightening. The name "cannabis" comes from the microscopic sockets in the human brain called "cannabinoid receptors."  Two of the most common cannabis are THC and CBD. These are acronyms for long scientific names. THC alters moods and perceptions while CBD is more associated with medical use. He tends to be more positive toward medicinal usage but less for recreational use. Thankfully, he justifies meticulously his stand. On why governments are choosing to legalize its use, he takes readers through a comprehensive explanation of how Christians should relate to the law, extending the discussion toward the relationship between Christianity and Government. He also takes a healthcare approach to explain the associated risks as well as the spiritual wisdom required to deal with them.  Of interest is the portion about the links between discipleship and the use of cannabis. 

My Thoughts
==============
This is an important book to help Christians think through issues that normally have been delegated to governments and authorities of the day. Miles is spot on when he noticed how many Christians tend to hide behind legislation and legal prohibitions when it comes to liberal practices such as marijuana use. Once the prohibitions are lifted, Christians are forced to take the issue head-on, to explain to members and friends why we should or should not consume marijuana. Education remains key. Biblical knowledge and wise application are needed for Christians to practice discipleship and faithfulness to biblical teachings. All of these are found in this book which makes this book an indispensable reading in an ever-liberal society we live in. This is probably the biggest wake-up call in the book by Miles for the rest of us. Many Christians have taken for granted the legal protection pertaining to controversial issues such as abortion, immigration, poverty, same-sex marriage, pornography, etc, and now cannabis usage. Remove the legal prohibition and Christians would have to find a reason to justify why people should not go with the cultural flow. By training our minds to think Christianly about any issue, we will depend less on government protection and more in terms of biblical principles. Books like this help us nuance our arguments better from a biblical standpoint.

Readers should note that this book is aimed at Christians, though some of the arguments within could benefit parents and young people of all faiths as well. Miles supplies some scientific evidence and public knowledge for us to understand the uses and risks of Marijuana. There are ample examples from the Bible to support Miles's arguments. By showing us how the Bible can be applied toward our relationship with government, the law, and contemporary issues, Miles gives us a general primer that could be used in other situations besides marijuana. For instance, he makes a distinction between the consumption of alcohol and marijuana, pointing out the similarities as well as the differences to help Christians discern how different the two issues are. This is important as part of the active thought process. He shows us how to distinguish between the different substances as a reminder that we need to consider each case according to its own merits. 

I appreciate the way Miles engages the Scriptures without jumping straight to conclusions. This is especially when some of the issues are considered "hot potatoes" which require gentle instruction with much patience. Some Christians do have deeply held views that would take time to loosen. Having said that, while Miles is open to the use of marijuana, in particular medicinal purposes, he is cautious, and rightly so, about the long-term effects of recreational marijuana use, especially for young minds. Even if one does not agree with the conclusions of the author, the benefits of thinking through issues from the biblical perspective is invaluable.

Todd Miles is Professor of Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches theology, church history, hermeneutics, and ethics. Prior to becoming a seminary professor, he was a nuclear engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Married, with six children, Todd is a fan of all-things Oregon State and enjoys running and reading (though rarely at the same time).

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.

conrade
This book has been provided courtesy of B & H Publishing and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
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Comprehensive study. Doesn't push an agenda. 

Thanks to author, publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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Absolutely loved reading this book!
As a Christian and smoker of marijuana off and on for year's, struggling with my faith and what is right or wrong!
I highly recommend this book!
Thank you to the author, publishers and everyone involved in the creation on this insightful book.

I read and reviewed this book in exchange for my honest opinion on Netgalley, Goodreads, Librarything Amazon Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.
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This is a great book for a wide Christian audience. I think every pastor and youth pastor should pick up a copy so they can do a better job presenting the facts about cannabis without hysteria, and help their congregants focus on missional living instead of relying on the state laws to dictate what's appropriate for living in Christ.

--Amie Regester
(Ask A Christian on YouTube)
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What an extraordinary(and truly necessary) book! This isn't an easy topic to be chatted up and However, WE christians need to be clarified about questions involving this kind of subjects and the biblical vision about it. Strongly recommended, and  Well Done to the author.
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Cannabis and the Christian: What the Bible Says about Marijuana
by Todd Miles
B&H Publishing Group
Stars: 4
Back of the Book: “What does the Bible say about marijuana? If it doesn’t directly address marijuana, how can Christians know what to make of the legalization of recreational cannabis and the advocacy of medical marijuana?
In the past, Christians could easily answer the question of whether or not it was permissible to use cannabis by deferring to state prohibitions. We could simply say, “it’s against the law.” Today, that answer is no longer possible. Christians are now forced to do what they should have been doing all along: Think like disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and bring to bear the wisdom of the sufficient Word of God. 
Since cannabis is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, we must understand what it is and how it affects the user. We also must understand what the Bible says about discipleship, healing, suffering, and what it is to be human. Only then can we answer the critical questions regarding the recreational use and the medical use of cannabis.
In Cannabis and the Christian, Todd Miles gives readers: Biblical wisdom applied to the question of recreational cannabis. Biblical wisdom was related to the medical use of cannabis. A grid to think through other ethical questions that aren’t directly addressed in the Bible Confidence to respond to challenging issues standing on the sufficient Word of God.”
My thoughts: This is the first book I’ve read on this topic. I’ve never used marijuana and really have no interest in it however it has become a hot topic as it is being legalized in various states, I felt the need to educate myself on its merits and usage. I felt this book to be thorough in its information on the topic it claimed to be about. I appreciated and agreed with the wisdom in this book. I think it is prudent to be thoughtful when considering taking any sort of drug, including medications. Clearly, each person is going to weigh the pros and cons to their personal convictions but as a Christian, this gave some concrete questions and answers to how the Bible lines up with the usage of a mind-altering substance. Christian or not the information was useful in weighing the use and legalization of marijuana. Overall I think this was a good book for others who are looking to understand this topic better. 
Inspiring thoughts: “Looking to the government to define good and evil, what is wise and profitable and what is not, is a bad idea. Civil law is not a reliable indicator of what God approves or of what he disapproves. The Christian is going to have to dig deeper into God’s laws to make such judgment.”
“Disciples of the Lord are to live intentionally – mind, body, and heart.”
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review shared here.
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