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.
Here recently I have been reading a lot of Batterson's writings. I don't know why that has been the case, but it has. When the opportunity to read this book before publication arose, I jumped at the opportunity. I am partially glad that I had the opportunity and I also wish I didn't take the time to read it. What do I mean?
While there are amazing point in this book and it is a solid page turner from page to page, it could use some help. What I mean is that if you have read most of Mark's other works, you have already heard the stories and the themes. Sure, this is a new title, but the same stories and thoughts have been used before in another of his writings. I would not say that it was a horrible read, and in fact there were a couple of statements worth quoting, but for the most part, it's a rehashing of the older things.
For that reason, I give the book three out of five stars. It's not that I enjoyed it, but I didn't dislike it either. For this book, I have a mediocre feeling. I feel like I have read most of the stuff before, but if I hadn't read it before, I would have enjoyed it.
I guess it could be boiled down to this, if you have read Batterson's work before, feel free to skip this work, but if you are new to his writing, please read this. He communicates in a style that's easy to follow and
As a matter of clarification, I did receive this book for free from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest and fair review. I feel like I have done that here.
Do you have just enough of Jesus to be informed, but not quite enough of Him to be transformed? The gospel costs us nothing, but it demands our everything. Being a Christ follower is not a spectator sport. Going "all out" is giving it all you got, maximum effort, 100%. Mark Batterson shows how we die and how we live when we go all out and all in, or completely surrender, our lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ in his book All In: You Are One Decision Away from a Totally Different Life.
Mark Batterson shows that when you give yourself to Christ and die to self, you don't really lose, you gain, and following Christ is an incredible adventure. With examples from the Bible, historical figures, and in his own life, he illustrates what a life lived for Jesus can look like.
While I am not certain exactly how the book is organized, it is still a great motivational book for change as we lose ourselves for the cause of Christ. Whether it be a small decision that is consistent over a duration or the push toward a big life-altering decision, this book inspires you to change. With short pithy sayings interspersed throughout the book, Mark Batterson comes across a bit like your own personal cheerleader, but sometimes, that could be exactly what we need to propel us forward.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan Publishing in exchange for my honest review.