I first remember reading i am not but i know I AM by Louie Giglio early after it's initial release, sometime around late 2005, early 2006.
It recently came up for review from Multnomah press and I jumped at the opportunity to review it. One, because I love reading books and two, it allows me to give away another book to my awesome readers. Seeing how well the last book giveaway worked, I'm excited to see what happens here.
Having previously read the book, I also knew what to expect (at least a little bit, it has been seven years since I read it).
As I read it this time, here is the thought that hit me: It's "What we talk about when we talk about God" for Evangelicals. That may not be a fair assessment, Giglio wrote before Bell and they take on a different direction, but the ideas behind both were strikingly familiar. They both get us to imagine how big the universe (and God by extension is), how small everything is (atoms, subatomic particles and the like), both are amazed that something (or more appropriately someone) is able to hold it all together and both are concerned with our place and function in the world. What Rob Bell is attempting to do for the emergent/progressive crowd, Giglio did years ago for the Evangelical crowd: God is big, God holds everything together and in the midst of all of that, God is passionate and crazy about you.
Giglio is writing a story, or perhaps more accurately, the story of God and his work in the world. The same God that revealed himself as the I AM to Moses is found throughout the story of Scripture as well as in our world today. Jesus, the one who BE came human (Be as a part of I AM) has dwelt among us and gives us access to God, his story and his ultimate plan of redemption, salvation and restoration.
At times, I think Giglio pushes this too hard as it seems a little laborious to construct Ã¢â¬Ëto be' verbs into the I AM of Exodus, but his point is one that I think most people need to hear. God is not an angry, judgmental, vindictive God looking to spite us but someone that is loving, gracious and relentlessly pursuing us at all costs. And don't even get me started on his Sabbath ideas, simply amazing. In our overworked, hurried and fast-paced world, the idea of a Sabbath needs to take center stage as a way or re-prioritizing the perspective of faith people.
Giglio is clearly writing as a pastor, someone with a heart that is touched by the plight of people and he writes to connect them to something beyond themselves, the Someone that created them. It serves as an impassioned plea for people to discover just who God is, the I AM that creates them, guides them, loves them, redeems them and pursues them.
Disclaimer: I reviewed a free copy of this book through the BloggingForBooks program offered by WaterBrook Multnomah publishing. I was in no way compensated for this review and all views are solely and completely my own. I was not required to offer a positive review either through the publisher or author.
If it wasn't for the fact I was obligated to read the book in order to write a review, I likely would have put this book aside shortly after starting it, thinking it was uninteresting.
Besides, it was just a little paperback with an odd title, how compelling could it be?
As it turns out, fairly compelling with a challenging, inspiring, and insightful message.
Yes, I kept reading.
Whether I was just not well tuned in when I started my reading, or the first chapter really is rather dull, I'm not sure what it was that initially almost lost my interest in reading "I Am Not But I Know I Am" (published by Multnomah Books), but author Louie Giglio quickly captured my attention soon thereafter and I found myself thoroughly engrossed in this little paperback.
Giglio marches the reader back to the story of Moses encountering God through a burning bush and discovering what God's name is. Giglio uses that discovery to take the reader into what is the subtitle of the book, "Welcome to the story of God."
When you explore who the I AM is, and understand that makes us the "I am not's," you gain a much greater, and clearer perspective of God's BIG story and where (and how) you fit into it. With this new perspective comes an understanding of our smallness, something Giglio challenges his readers to embrace positively.
"The Story already has a star, and that star is not you or me," Giglio writes.
God is infinitely big in a myriad of ways. We are tiny. That turns out to be a beautiful combination for life, as Giglio reveals throughout the rest of the book.
"I Am Not But I Know I Am" is a little paperback worth reading. It won't take a lot of your time, but it will challenge and inspire you in big ways.
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their book review bloggers program. 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."
The message of Louie Giglio's book, I Am Not But I Know I Am, is both humbling and freeing. He reminds us from the beginning of the book that this life story we're living isn't really about us at all. It's God's story, and we've simply been invited to play a small part in His great design.
This means that we can throw over all that stress we place on ourselves, feeling like this world depends on us or that decisions and outcomes rest so heavily on our lightweight shoulders. It also means that we can stop treating this life like the story (and the glory) is ours. It's about Him, always Him, and never us.
Covering a vast span of Scripture, reminders from astronomy, and personal experiences, Giglio manages to keep every chapter short, easy to read, and both inspiring and challenging. Louie Giglio is known for his story-telling, humor, and practical teaching to college students at the Passion conferences, and his gift for communication and teaching certainly shines in this book.
My favorite sections include his teaching on the importance of keeping a Sabbath perspective in life, choosing to rest and allow God to be at work, and recognizing that the world doesn't spin and function because of our intense 24-7-365 involvement. God doesn't need us to make His plans succeed; He chooses to include us.
I've read through it twice and I've been challenged both times to examine my perspective on life. Am I forgetting how great God is? Am I trusting in my own abilities too much? Am I focusing too much on myself and becoming too prideful? Am I living a life that glorifies God? These are questions worth asking not one in a lifetime, but repeatedly in order to fight against pride and help us be more yielded to God's purposes and usable in ministry.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and 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."
Good for average reader, worth skimming for others
March 3, 2013
Giglio definitely does not let us forget this title. He hammers the reader with "I am not but I know I AM" multiple times every chapter. But there is not a single thing wrong with this statement. Giglio pulls Scripture from all over God's Word to reinforce the fact that we are insignificant, God is very significant, and He loves us anyway. Being part of God's story has never been so clearly stated. In order to truly know our place in His story, we have to know where we stand. But as Giglio clarifies, "coming to terms with the idea that we are each I am not does not mean relinquishing our dreams, setting aside our competitive desires, or settling for less than the best_knowing I AM inspires us to excel in every area in life. Personally, I was really challenged by his form of meditating on the Bible. He uses what he calls the One-Word Bible Study Method. It is amazing how God can move through a single word and for it to have such a profound impact on us. Giglio's book was good overall, but be prepared for much redundancy. It is definitely worth skimming for the content, but I wouldn't say that it is one that I would read again. I received this book free of charge from the publisher as part of a blogging program and was not obligated to write a positive review.