Saturday, January 29, 2005

Review: Just for You

He Did This Just for You
by Max Lucado (W Publishing Group, 2000, pb, 64pp)

Mostly a collection of excerpts from his book He Chose the Nails, this brief book has the yet-to-believe clearly in mind. It is classic Lucado in content and style – profoundly plain speech aimed straight for the heart with alternating story, reflection and Scripture.

There are powerful words here which pull no punches:
“Some . . . look around and say, ‘Compared to everyone else, I’m a decent person.’ You know, a pig might say something similar. . . . The standard for sinlessness isn’t found at the pig troughs of the earth but at the throne of heaven. God himself is the standard.” (p.16)
There are profound words here which enlighten and teach:
“Pride and shame. You’d never know they are sisters. They appear so different. Pride puffs out her chest. Shame hangs her head. Pride boasts. Shame hides. Pride seeks to be seen. Shame seeks to be avoided. But don’t be fooled, the emotions have the same parentage. And the emotions have the same impact. They keep you from your Father. Pride says, ‘You’re too good for him.’ Shame says, ‘You’re too bad for him.’ Pride drives you away. Shame keeps you away. If pride is what goes before a fall, then shame is what keeps you from getting up after one.” (pp.22-23)
But most of all there are words here which speak to the heart in a warm, inviting, genuine, honest and personal way - which makes this inexpensive book a good addition to my faith-sharing toolbox. It’s the sort of thing I can share with someone after they see the movie The Passion of the Christ. It’s what I can pass along to someone I know who is hurting, but searching. And in light of his primary narrative illustration, it’s made-to order for parents who are wrestling with the burden of rebellious children, be they teens or adults.

Some will say Max seems to have drained the baptistry for a person coming to Christ and has substituted “the sinner’s prayer” for the pool (pp.50-51), but not to worry, the pool is in it’s proper place:
“Once you’ve placed your faith in Christ, I urge you to take three steps. . . . These three steps – baptism, Bible reading, and belonging to a church – are essential steps in your faith.” (pp.52-53)
Bottom line - there are books for those who are Christians who have wandered away, but for those who are still on the quest to find him initially, this book could be a milestone for them.