I really enjoy Mark Batterson and I love the premise of this book. In the midst of the "feel good Christianity" so popular in the US today, there has to be someone calling us to greater things--things that God calls us to. I feel that Mr. Batterson attempts that with this book.
This short book is packed full of inspiration. There are stories of Christians who are living the life and going all-in for Christ, but Batterson shares these stories in a cohesive way. The book is equal parts inspiration and call-to-action, which we all need.
What keeps me from giving the book 5 stars is that at times it's a bit cliche, and trite--like he's trying to hard to be cool and quotable. Also, though I loved the inspirational stories, I thought the book was heavy on inspiration and lacking on scripture. In a book about following Jesus, and going all in for God, I would like to have seen a bigger focus on His word rather than anecdotes.
However, the meat of the book is a wonderful reminder of our call to follow Jesus with our whole selves.
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I received no other compensation and all opinions expressed are my own.
What a fantastic book! Having read Draw the Circle by this author, I was excited to have the opportunity to review his new book, All In. While some of what was in it was "familiar", I really enjoyed it!
In the book, Batterson says that "this isn't a book to be read. It's a decision to be made. If you read this book without making a defining decision, I wasted my time writing it and you wasted your time reading it". I think he really meant that. This book is very easy to read, easy to relate to, and easy to understand how to implement the ideas that were shared. The book has 17 relatively short chapters, each with real-life examples from his pastoring, his own personal life, and the Bible itself. The stories included are ones that really do help to make the points he's talking about, and they make it clear that we all go through the same types of struggles and challenges while getting to a point of being "All In".
This book will be available for purchase on September 24th, and would make a great small group study for adults and teens alike. It's also good for people who like to read thought-provoking books, because this will definitely encourage you to do more and really re-evaluate how you view your relationship with God and the areas where you are "All In" or not.
I was provided with a free copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.
Sometimes my three kids and I will chase each other through our house. We have a familiar, well-worn, well-traveled circular path that winds through the kitchen, dining room, and family room. It is easy for us, at times, to chase each other in circles and reach the point of forgetting who was chasing whom. Four kids (one at heart) running in a big circle from one another and toward one another all at the same time.
Mark Batterson contends that we likewise forget who is supposed to be following whom when it comes to our relationship with Jesus. Actually, Batterson would more correctly say that it's not that we forget; instead we choose to make Jesus follow us. He calls this The Inverted Gospel. We kindly decline Jesus' offer to follow Him and instead we politely ask if He would like to follow us.
In "All In," Batterson challenges the reader to break free of this inverted gospel and to dive all in to following Jesus. "All In" is a quick, easy read that is littered with solid analysis of the state of the contemporary North American believer. Batterson makes a compelling case for living full-out for Christ in our daily lives. In essence, "All In" is a lighter (though not less meaningful) version of David Platt's "Radical." If you are looking for an encouraging way to say we need to live all out for Christ, read "All In." If, instead you are looking for a "grab me by the shoulders and shake me" version, read "Radical."
All In is a new book by Mark Batterson. I have not read Marks previous books, though I did glance over Wild Goose Chase. I was drawn to this book, like most books I read, by the premise. Being All In for Jesus Christ sounds like the kind of book I wanted to read.
When I first dug into the book, it seemed at times somewhat cliche. Some of his statements would make great bumper stickers. In fact, I think some of them might be. I had to set that aside though and dive into the meat of the book.
I dog-eared quite a few pages after that. One of those pages talked about the church being a verb and that we are called to charge! That resonated with me. Another page that got marked up was talking about how the prophet Elisha set fire to his plowing equipment and disposed of his oxen, going all in with God and following Elijah! That call to part with the past and make a clean break, moving forward with Jesus Christ, had me taking stock of my own commitment to God.
One story he shares had my eyes watering. I thought maybe it was just me but when I read the 2 pages to my wife, she started wiping her eyes as well.
By the end of the book, I found myself challenged to plunge deeper into my relationship with God, to not be afraid to step out despite how it looks, and to embrace the adventure of faith in Christ. Not bad.
All in is due to be published in Sept. by Zondervan and should be added to your reading list.
Review: All In: You are one decision away from a totally different life.
Interest in total commitment rises among the younger set. Or so it seems judging from some of the titles available today and this one fits right in with them. Will that interest translate into action?
Batterson writes "I'm afraid we've cheapened the gospel by allowing people to buy in without selling out. We've made it too convenient, too comfortable." (18). What follows not only illustrates his point, but also encourages the reader to look at his own life and make a few adjustments. Radical adjustments, for some. He expects the reader to make a decision and makes it plain that indecision is a decision.
Batterson draws from an array of biblical accounts and more recent examples including his own life. His opening chapter sets the pace when he retells the story of a one-way missionary (missionaries who bought a one-way ticket to their particular field) whose legacy was memorialized by those he served during his lifetime.
As Batterson progresses, he repeats a phrase "going all in and all out for the All in All". That phrase serves as the organization of this book. And it sums up the book. "It's time to go all in and all out for the All in All." (170) closes the book.
Does he make his case? For the group that he works with, maybe so. Young, eager, looking for a cause, and not loaded down with all the worries of life quite yet. For me, the book covered ground well trod by others and in some cases was even tedious to read. If the reader wants something more challenging try Bonhoeffer's Life Together or The Cost of Discipleship. Or Elliot's Through the Gates of Splendor".
But, you read it and decide what you think. This is my opinion and you are welcome to disagree.
This book was provided by the publisher in return for a review.