Classic Judah Smith
If you’re familiar with Judah’s preaching, you’ll be able to hear his voice all over this book. He writes like he talks. In this book, as in his preaching, he is extremely accessible and has a gift for sharing wisdom in a very non-academic manner. Will he may seem very simple, I think that part of his brilliance is the ability to teach in a way that anyone can understand. Judah’s personality and attempts at humour may come across as over-the-top to some. I don’t know what to say about that other than this: he is Judah, deal with it.
What I find inspiring from Judah’s work is his love for Jesus and life. He’s one excited man full of energy. This book is no exception. There are numerous, simple, underline-worthy things waiting for you in this book. This can probably be both and blessing and a curse, but Judah has a very-confrontational vibe. It’s good because it makes him very accessible to the masses, but on the flip side he seems a little soft, as if he might might not be willing he is to call out sin when it needs to be called out. It seems as if his style just ruffles my legalistic feathers.
Just before writing this review I saw a post from Judah promoting the book with this quote from the book: “God wants our lives to be awesome in every way.” A statement like this sets off some prosperity Gospel warning bells, so read with caution and discernment. I don’t remember reading this statement in the book, so I can’t place its context, but the fact that he is using this sentence in isolation would indicate to me that he doesn’t feel the need to clarify his statement. When Bieber and Gomez endorse a Christian book, it makes me wrinkle my brow a bit. But after reading through the book I can say that I think it’s a very beneficial read that strives to push you towards a more abundant life lived closer to Jesus.
Here are a few quote-worthy lines from the book that jumped out to me:
“If we live by the law, we die by the law. If our whole focus is how much we can do for God… rather than how much he does for us and how much he loves us – eventually we’ll find ourselves in a pity party apart from the cross.”
“The answer to many of our problems is simple: it’s thinking about Jesus more than ourselves.”
“Grace plays offence.”
“We access the abundant life by giving up control”.
And lastly, a good insight into the way I believe Judah tries to do with his whole life:
“Might I suggest that we be slow to criticize and critique and quick to celebrate what God is doing in people’s lives?”
I think it’s a good book for people across a wide spectrum in their walk, whether it’s someone who’s exploring Christianity wondering what it’s about, or for the seasoned believer whose walk with Jesus has been running on the dry side.
Thanks Judah for the encouragement. You’re more like Jesus than I am in so many ways.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book courtesy of Booklook Bloggers.
4/5 Paper Movement Stars.