I found Out Live your Life to contain several useful scriptural passages, personal anecdotes, humorous comments, and motivational tips. To summarize, he challenges people to ‘get out of your shell’ and do something for Christ. I find this admirable and I agree we Christians can’t be overwhelmed by problems like world hunger, poverty, oppression, violence, the child sex trade, etc. When in the face any terrifying ordeal we can’t say “Why bother? I’m too insignificant”, or “I’m not qualified enough… it’s too big for me”, or even “I’m not useful enough for the Kingdom of God”, one reason being the early church founders didn’t waiver to such lies; many literally died for Christ.
Many times the Book of Acts is referred to in this book as evidence the early church was filled with socially ordinary people who through the power of God did extraordinary things. Overall I enjoyed reading Out Live your Life. However, my one complaint is he seems to endorse the Jim Wallis gospel; as evident in chapter 10. (I used to have a link to a good video talking about it, but You Tube took it down sorry, 😦 )Good works are important, but they aren’t the gospel. Despite our misdeeds, imperfections, and lackings we don’t work in order to become saved, because Jesus Christ died for our redemption, rather we are to work for the Kingdom of God because of our salvation! Do I feel Mr. Lucado is intentionally sending people on a guilt trip? No. Most of his message is a necessary reminder, under the condition it isn’t to ‘earn’ or ‘maintain’ our salvation.
Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Thomas Nelson Publishing, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Thomas Nelson Publishing to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus. This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
UPDATE: There was one other thing I was displeased about, which is what persuaded me to change my Thomas Nelson review from a 4 out of 5 stars to 3 out of 5 stars. My other complaint was that most of the time when Max Lucado referred to scripture he used a translation called the MSG, which is short for ‘the Message.’ Now I’m not one of those “King James Only” people, I have read several biblical translations and haven’t had an issue, but I looked up various verses of the MSG and compared them to other translations and I gotta say I’m not a fan of the MSG. It just seems like the MSG waters down scripture a bit by making it more simplistic, dumbed down, and less poetic. I feel such a translation is more appropriate for a children’s book.
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