M. Craig BarnesZondervan / 2000 / Trade PaperbackOur Price$12.795 out of 5 stars for Hustling God. View reviews of this product. 1 Reviews
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Philip TuttSacramento, CAAge: Over 65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Not A Self-Help BookOctober 15, 2012Philip TuttSacramento, CAAge: Over 65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Let the title of this review dispose of any such expectation. Let me also warn the reader not to be put off by the conversational (even "chatty") style in which the book is written. That said, as I read this book, Rev. Barnes makes two main points: first, we cannot take from God what God gives us, and second, we must surrender to God if we are to receive God's blessings. The first point has two corallaries, both of which arise naturally within the context of Rev. Barnes' narrative. The first corallary is that we cannot avoid God's intent for us (rather like: you can run, but you can't hide, at least not from God). The second corallary is that while we may surely refuse the blessings which God offers, God does not give up trying to bless us while we yet breathe. As Rev. Barnes ably shows from his own pastoral experience, this latter corallary is sometimes very hard to see, or, if seen, to accept. Hence, the second main point: surrendering to God. On that point, I found the book somewhat less satisfactory. If faith is a gift from God (I believe that it is), and if, on account of that faith, I surrender to God (or, to put it more somewhat more analytically, I surrender to God's will for me, whatever that may entail), then, in some sense, there is nothing left for me to do: my salvation is assured. I ought, therefore, as a committed Christian, to need, indeed, to desire, nothing else. Yet, how often, even here, does doubt enter in. As Rev. Barnes observes: we so often find it difficult, if not impossible, to accept something which we are afraid that we may lose. The remedy, finding God's faithfulness, gets us right back to the question of surrender. So, the pastoral dilemma seems to be: how do I "find" what is already given to me (my faith, out of which I surrender to God). If, on the other hand, I have not such faith, then what is God's faithfulness to me? I think that Rev. Barnes probably knows, again out of the abundance of his pastoral experience (from which he gives the reader many heart-felt and instructive examples), that likely are no satisfactory answers to this dilemma. I suspect, also, that for the mature Christian, there do not have to be any. I highly recommend this book for thoughtful readers. I am confident that they will find many of the points in it both telling and profound.
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