by John Bevere
I had mixed feelings on this book. On one hand there were moments when I was loving this book and felt he was right on. At other moments it felt like there was just something that didn’t quite set right with me. This book is about how life is supposed to be. This book wants to open people’s eyes to the fact that “extraordinary” is how we were created to live. It was God’s plan from the beginning (loc 126). But this seems to be far from reality for many people, many Christians. It is to confront this reality that John writes this book.
I think the central premise of his book could be wrapped up in this quotation
The truth is, God not only desires you to live extraordinarily but also has equipped you to do so. (loc 148)
For those who have come to faith in Christ. They have been made alive. They are being shaped into the image of his Son (Romans 8:28-30). The message of the Gospel is not only about redemption from the penalty as a result from our sins against God, but it includes the aftermath of that as well. Being alive to God and living in a way that brings glory to Him (Gal. 2:20). The gift of salvation is all of God’s grace. It isn’t something man can boast in. It includes being made alive to God, going from enemies to sons, and as his children there are good works that he has prepared for us to do (Eph. 2:7-10). This is huge. It is easy to stop at simply explaining that the Gospel is the way that people can be saved from the penalty of their sins. That is huge. There is no denying that. But that also creates the potential of leading people to think life after that is up to them. They are saved by grace but life by effort. This is the error Paul is confronting in Galatians. He wants them to see that life after salvation is the same as life at salvation – all of God (Gal 2:15-3:5).
In relation to these ideas I was hugely grateful for the book. It was very helpful in this sense. What I think the underlying tension was came in the application he makes. It wasn’t prevalent throughout the book, but I just had a feeling it was coming and it showed up towards the end. There were two major things that I struggled with: first, It is the idea that when something you want to be doesn’t come to fruition that it is because in the “critical belief period” your faith wasn’t strong enough (loc 2580). It is the idea that is often abused that comes down to “if it is to be it is up to me.” While there are some elements of truth and the abuse in the other direction is real, this can be crippling and I don’t think squares with the overall message from scripture. The second major disagreement came in some of the areas of application. His emphasis on grace as God’s gift for salvation but also the empowering to live a life that pleases him is helpful. However, the idea that because you are a Christian you should be the most creative architect, the most exciting musician, the most successful businessman I don’t think quite squares with scripture either. Some of his applications for grace’s empowering us to live a holy life as a new creation were great (loc 1661). But others I disagreed with.
Overall, the book was interesting. I greatly enjoyed it. It was thought provoking and entertaining. So for those who are looking for a book to challenge their thinking on what life as a Christian should be this is an interesting one. It would not come as the highest recommended book on the topic but for a critical reader it might be worth engaging with.
Why are we drawn to stories of heroic triumph over seemingly impossible circumstances? In our fascination with adventure movies, superheroes, and tales of incredible human feats, do we reveal an inherent desire for something larger and greater in life? Maybe what we think is a need to escape or be entertained is actually a God inspired longing…for the extraordinary.
Best-selling author John Bevere reveals how all of us were “meant for more,” extraordinarily created and intended for a life that is anything but ordinary. Here is the roadmap for your journey of transformation. You are marked for a life that far surpasses the usual definitions of success or fulfillment.
Isn’t it time to pursue your extraordinary life?