Book Review: Just Do Something (Audiobook)

JustDoSomthingJust Do Something: How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc. (AudioBook) By Kevin DeYoung

From the Publisher:

Hyper-spiritual approaches to finding God’s will don’t work. It’s time to try something new: Give up.

Pastor and author Kevin DeYoung counsels Christians to settle down, make choices, and do the hard work of seeing those choices through. Too often, he writes, God’s people tinker around with churches, jobs, and relationships, worrying that they haven’t found God’s perfect will for their lives. Or—even worse—they do absolutely nothing, stuck in a frustrated state of paralyzed indecision, waiting . . . waiting…waiting for clear, direct, unmistakable direction.

But God doesn’t need to tell us what to do at each fork in the road. He’s already revealed his plan for our lives: to love him with our whole hearts, to obey His Word, and after that, to do what we like.

No need for hocus-pocus. No reason to be directionally challenged. Just do something.

I had to really pay attention to this book. I’m not sure that I come down on the same side of the fence entirely as Kevin DeYoung does. I understand where he is trying to drive his point, but I think he pushes too hard. This book is about the search for finding God’s will for a person’s life and I got the impression that (at first glance) DeYoung thinks that can be a bit over-the-top. He states there is only one will of God and that is to love Him and people…everything else is up to us; “Just do something, because God doesn’t really care.” That is what he says. I don’t think that is what he means; like I said, I had to really “listen” (this was a complimentary copy of the audiobook through christianaudio’s reviewer program).

Coming from a somewhat charismatic background myself, I can understand the position that DeYoung desires to balance, but as stated, his corrective measures overshadow that God does have a plan and will for people. Consider the prophet Jeremiah, consider the life of King David, consider Joseph’s words to his brothers when he revealed himself to them in Egypt, consider the life of John the Baptist, consider the plan and path of the Cross of Christ. All of these indicate that God does have a “perfect will.” These examples do not mean that we can work outside of God’s plan and he still not affect His will. We can see examples of this in the life of Abraham with the births of Ishmael and Isaac, or the words of Mordecai to Esther…and then in the life of Hezekiah…and on and on.

I think that Kevin DeYoung would recognize all of these examples, and might even state with a little more sensitivity and generosity, his position on God’s will. I think, listening between the lines, he as much as  stated his agreement with those examples…but the book itself did not seem very generous. In my opinion the position stated in the book was rather narrow and condescending at times. I will recommend it because he made some very good points and the abrasiveness of his position might be what some people need to hear in order to push beyond their fears; however, I do think that it could  have been better written and better presented.

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