Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Review: Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick pastors Elevation Church in Charlotte, one of the fastest-growing churches in America.

He's passionate, effective and completely committed. With Sun Stand Still, he's managed to put a slight, somewhat mystifying snippet of scripture into the common lexicon of contemporary churches. The concept is tantalizing, this idea that audacious prayers are not only possible but essential to engaging in a full relationship with God. Furtick advocates a bold, active faith in arguments that sometimes seem grounded in the rejection of the perceived passivity and inaction found in North American churches.

It's a great concept, scripturally sound and personally challenging - and I bet it was a terrific sermon series. But as a book, littered with phrases like, "If you'll do the believing, he'll do the achieving", it's a difficult read. Furtick describes two individuals who are "accomplishing ridiculously amazing things for God's glory....their faith seems to be turbocharged from some source that the average Christian never quite taps into."  When he goes on to declare "by the time you finish this book, the same faith that pulses in Michael's and Tonia's everyday life will be pumping through your veins too", I just want to smile gently, take him aside and ask him to reconsider whether or not he might be jumping the gun. It's a bit harder to take a reader on a journey towards discovery when your starting point leans towards a preconceived notion that borders on insult.

I'm all for Furtick's work with Elevation, and thrilled about the success the church is having in North Carolina. I'd like to hear him preach. And I look forward to the book he might write ten years from now, with a bit more experience under his belt.

By the way of full disclosure, I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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