This is not a self-help book, Idleman says. It is a God-help book.
Using the parable of the prodigal son, he frames the elements necessary to the moment that changes everything.
A sudden awakening
When God's word and the Holy Spirit bring these three elements together, there is a God-given moment, AHA, that changes life.
We go to a distant country – any place in our lives where we have walked away from God. (He looks at why we do so.) An alarm sounds. We have a realization and we suddenly come to our senses. (He looks at how this might happen.) We take an honest look at ourselves. (He relates why this is so necessary and why and how we attempt to avoid it.) We realize it's time to do something. (He explains all the reasons we don't.)
Idleman tells lots of stories. Some are his own (like being told his right ear sticks out farther than his left). Many are of other people. Some are from the Bible. But there are lots of stories. And there's humor. It lightens up the serious nature of the topic, I suppose, but I found it detracted from the overall impact of the book. And one humorous story totally mystified me. It's a three sentence dialog in chapter 11 with a footnote. The footnote says he made up the dialog. How ironic, I thought. In a book where the second step is “brutal honesty” the author makes up a funny dialog (a lie) and identifies it as such only in a footnote.
This is a book for Christians who know they aren't where God wants them to be, whether it be in a relationship, habit, or another behavior. Idleman gives us all the right events that need to happen, but we still have to be willing. Reading this book won't change anything unless we decide to take action.
Watch a trailer for the book here.
Kyle Idleman is the teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. You can see some of his other work at www.cityonahillproductions.com and www.notafan.com.
David C Cook, 127 pages in the egalley I read.
I requested and received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this independent and honest review.