I am always on the lookout for books to add to our ministry library. Having been in full-time pastoral ministry for 13 years, my husband and I have often been in need of resources to help those who are not yet in the faith but who are seeking, those who are struggling in their faith, and those who want to go deeper into study on their own. I chose Changed by Faith: Dare to Trust God with Your Broken Pieces...and Watch What Happens by Luis Palau with Jay Fordice, hoping it would be a book that could encourage and challenge those who are hurting and discouraged. It is exactly that.
Changed by Faith is full of life-changing stories - stories of lives that have been radically transformed by faith in Jesus Christ. At first I found the stories a bit much. I was getting the impression that the book was going to focus more on the people Luis had encountered than how to practically make that change. However, as the chapters progressed, more was given.
At times I felt that there were too many pat answers and not enough concrete steps given about how to live an "amazing, world-shaking spiritual journey" (taken from the back cover). Also, when giving a defence for the historicity of Scripture and supporting archaeological evidence, it would have been helpful to include footnotes with the sources to encourage further study.
This book is evangelical in nature - not a surprise as Palau is an evangelist. It is geared toward a seeker audience as well as those who are discouraged or stagnant in their faith. There are no new answers given as to how to be changed by faith. I found this refreshing. After all, the gospel hasn't changed and it is the ultimate guide for our life in Christ.
I give this book 4 stars out of 5.
I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
In his book, "Changed By Faith," Louis Palau strives to demonstrate how a strong faith is the cornerstone to a life changing relationship with God and a powerful witness within the world.
He shares numerous examples, numerous stories, of how he has led people of all ages to Christ, and these are very endearing moments to say the least. He shares of how their lives were different, how their lives were transformed, by the newly found presence of Jesus, by their newly found faith in the Christ that died for them on the cross of Calvary.
These stories, however, while they are heart-wrenching and uplifting, seem to be missing two important aspects of Biblical conversion, repentance and baptism. In his quest to bring the love and forgiveness of Jesus, Louis never mentions that those he spoke with were brought to understand that they were sinners in need of a Savior and baptism.
The deletion of these two aspects of conversion falls within the popular way of presenting the gospel today. While the finding of, relying on, and living out of your faith are admirable, the following of scripture also should taught. The scripture clearly defines the path of salvation, and it is the only path that should be taught or followed.
All in all, this book is a good recommended read, as it does demonstrate what can be accomplished through strong faith, as long as it is followed by the seeking of what the Bible states to be the way to salvation.
Dr. Jeff krupinski
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Luis Palau is an evangelist, and this is an evangelistic book. The thrust of it is that faith in Jesus is not just something that can be added on to a life, but is something that fundamentally changes it. He directs his writing at various kinds of people who have not made a life-changing commitment to Jesus: skeptics, people who feel that going to church periodically and calling themselves Christians is enough, people who are outwardly successful but inwardly unfulfilled, the addicted, the unloved, the burned-out, the hopeless. To each of those people (and more), he says that the good news of Jesus transforms lives by bringing about personal and social change and bringing beauty from ashes.
Palau (and his co-author, Jay Fordice) tells the stories of many people whom he has met in his years as an evangelist, and these make the book easy and fun to read. I have read several books over the years that lay out the good news of Jesus, and aside from the stories of how faith in Jesus has changed people, this book had nothing new to say. As far as I'm concerned, that is a point in the book's favor. After all, the gospel message is not new. The way in which it impacts each life makes for wonderful stories, though, and I appreciated Palau's emphasis on telling personal stories.
I'd recommend this book to nonbelievers and new believers.
I received a review copy of this book from Tyndale House. I was not asked to give a positive review.
I recently had the chance to review this book. It looked interesting and I had never heard of the Author who is a speaker and know worldwide mostly in the Latin community of Latin America. So I knew nothing of him or about him when reading it. I started reading it and was actually drawn into it a little. It is a nice read. He tells from his own life experiences and from others life experiences he has helped along the way. I enjoyed him sharing those stories and how Jesus picks up and puts people back together again. The whole book is centered around how Jesus puts the broken pieces back together again in all of us,if we simply come to trust him in every matter of our life. He can take the worst situations and worst past history or mistakes and put you back together again,just simply by giving your life to Jesus. This is very nice little read.
Thank you Tyndale Publishers for providing this book free of charge for my honest review.
A woman is left alone for two weeks with her husband's best friend. He flirts, she makes the wrong choice. She regrets, her husband doesn't forgive. She's left divorced, alone, broken....
A man grows up in the slums of a Costa Rican city. He's abused by his father, and drinks to forget ....
A wealthy business man has it all, drive for success, status, big house, every material possession he could ever desire, neglected family.....
An angry, bitter woman in Bolivia, decides she's going to change the social injustices and rampart inequality of educational and job opportunities in her country. She runs to Cuba and becomes one of Che Guevara's henchmen, committing murder and acts of terrorism...
A Marxist leader enjoys the power and privileges of belonging to the upper echelons of a totalitarian regime in another South American country...
What do all these people have in common?
I once read a Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schultz, the creator of Charlie Brown. In it Sally, Charlie Brown's sister, is jumping rope. Suddenly she stops and bursts into heart rending sobs. Linus comes running up to her and asks what's wrong, what happened? Sally looks at him and replies, "I don't know. Suddenly it all seemed so futile."
And that's the answer to the question. Each of these people came to a point in their lives where they lost their motive. They could no longer see the point of what they were doing. Something was missing from their lives. It all seemed so futile.
In "Changed by Faith", Palau, introduces us to several such people and also includes many personal stories of his family. He describes being raised in Argentina by a workaholic father who finally came to faith only to die when Palau was ten. Even though Palau was raised in a Christian family, it took many years of grinding poverty as his mother attempted to singlehandedly raise seven children and some Bible teachers that didn't pull any punches for Palau to finally come to true Christian commitment and faith.
And that is the second group of people he addresses in the book. People who have grown up in church, considered themselves Christians but had reached the same feelings of meaninglessness that the above-mentioned people had come to . Palau writes how sterile Christians can come to the joy-filled life of victory, purpose and meaning when they truly surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.
Much of the problem, Palau asserts, is that even Christians don't read the Bible. Either they don't truly study the scriptures, or they pick and choose what they will believe and obey. This can only lead to the same hollow living that unbelievers endure.
The most interesting part of the book for me as a believer, is the personal stories of the people I described at the beginning of this essay and how each of them turned from a life ignoring God, rejecting God, or even raging against God- to a life devoted to Him.
For people who are in the same boat, this book contains solid scriptural teaching that can lead each "dry and thirsty" soul to the "streams of water" that never run dry and eternally satisfy.
I recommend this book for people who are not Christians but are searching for "the thing" that is missing in their lives; for people who consider themselves Christians but suffer from a sense of emptiness; for new Christians; and finally, for people who would like to understand how to counsel the aforementioned groups.
One negative: At the end of the book Palau tags on, almost as an afterthought, constructive ways Christians can live victoriously by helping their community. Of course that is a good thing, but when he went on to describe strategies to do so he started sounding like he was preaching the social gospel. When he sited good examples from the books, "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller and "The Shack" by William P. Young I had to scratch my head. Both of these books deviate from scripture in defining Christianity and even the Trinity. Since Palau spends a good part of the middle section of his book discussing the need to become biblically literate and testing everything with scripture, I think he needs to practice what he preaches.
However, it's possible that he didn't actually read either book but simply heard about them because the rest of his book is quite orthodox.