Reimagining the Way You Relate to God
By Skye Jethani
It is rare that I read a popular Christian author and see much of anything new. Sadly, the same topics seem to get recycled, repackaged and replayed. I was (very pleasantly) surprised as I read With, because Mr. Jethani gave me the vocabulary to describe so many issues that are common in the church. Until I read this book, I could explain why I disagreed with many of these tactics, but couldn’t pin down the common thread – control and manipulation. The way that he laid it out really impressed me.
Basically, Mr. Jethani describes 4 different ways that we attempt to control the world around us by using God:
- life UNDER God – where you seek to control the world by securing God’s blessing via rituals and/or morality
- life OVER God – where you use God as a self-help guide… you employ natural laws or divine principles extracted from the Bible to give yourself a sense of control
- life FROM God – where you use God to try to acquire wealth, health and popularity so you can insulate yourself from the calamities that happen to others
- life FOR God – where you try to extract God’s favor and give meaning to your life through faithful service
Mr. Jethani’s descriptions of how these principles are used in the Western Evangelical culture REALLY made me stop and think. I could see myself (both past and present) in so many of the misguided attempts. I thought of all of the sermons that I’ve heard ENCOURAGING these stances, and my little lightbulb in my head kept turning on as I realized why those attempts don’t work.
For the remainder of the book, Mr. Jethani describes a life WITH God, and what that looks like. Unlike the above attempts to control our world and use God, a life WITH God embraces the truth that control is an illusion. Instead of trying to overcome our fears by seeking more control, life WITH God is when we overcome fear by surrendering control to God.
I “clipped” so many quotes out of this book on my Kindle. I am looking forward to re-reading it, because I know I’ll get even more out of it the second time. I highly recommend this book and happily give it 5-out-of-5 stars 🙂
For fans of InternetMonk, Chaplain Mike recently reviewed With as well:
And now some legaleze:
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÂ®.com <http://BookSneezeÂ®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissionâ€™s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : â€œGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.â€