Book Review: Sun Stand Still

Book Review:

Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible by Steven Furtick Published by Multnomah Books

I’m not sure where to start with this review. My impressions are all over the map with this book; I like it, I hate it, I’m encouraged, I’m depressed, I wanted to quit reading it, I wanted to read “just one more chapter,” and those are just some of my reactions to it. I found it simple at times and profound at times, I found it condescendingly redundant at times and full of inspired repetition at others. Honestly, I still haven’t determined if I like it or loathe it. Perhaps that is the sign of a “good” book or a “stirring” read.

Let’s get some of the technical details out of the way. The book is about faith; faith in God, faith in life, faith in action, faith in purpose… FaithAudacious Faith (remember that, you’ll hear it a lot). The book is not a difficult read and it’s not loaded with deep theology. The book is broken into twenty short chapters; helpful for those readers with short attention spans or for those readers who don’t have time to read for extended periods. The story is also filled with alliterated one-liner twitterific quotables; great for people who like those types of easy-to-remember inspiration snippets. There is also an equal portion of real-life testimony and personal experience to help support the message of audacious faith… I found the mixture of “cheese” and “classic” content to be almost equal portion. As I said, I have had a love/hate relationship with this book from the start to finish.

I realize that my review may seem a bit unfair or lacking grace, but that is not the case. I’m sharing my opinion and an honest impression from my read. I’m not a shill or a hater of Pastor Steven or Elevation Church. I’ve followed the history of Elevation since some of its earliest days of posting podcasts of its sermons. I’ve watched videos and followed the blogs of its ministry leaders. Two years ago, while on vacation, I specifically routed our travel so my family could visit Elevation Church and meet with some of its ministry leaders. I have used some of the model of Elevation’s ministry philosophy as example to my own church family. See, not a hater. I believe in the work Pastor Steven is doing and I believe in the work and ministry of Elevation Church. I simply believe there is a little more hype in the book than there is practiced reality. For instance, chapter thirteen “When the Sun Goes Down,” is a very balanced and real examination of “what about when you pray audaciously and the sun doesn’t stand still.” Personally, I think there could have been more than a single (and short) chapter devoted to this. Again, in fairness, Pastor Steven does give time to “the other side of the prayer coin” (what about when God says no or says nothing), but throughout most of the book this balance comes across as an embarrassed whisper… or at least it did to me.

In closing let me add, I’m living an audacious faith life. I’ve staked my entire being on following the Way of Jesus. I’ve left secure jobs (yes, more than one), and left comfortable ministry positions in order to pursue an outrageous dependency on God. I’m in a waiting-for-God to answer my audacious faith prayer even as I type out this review, so I give props to Steven Furtick for living and writing about Sun Stand Still type of faith. I’ve needed the inspiration, but could do without the cheese. Like I said, love it and hate it… you’ll have to be your own judge.

I received this book free from Multnomah Books 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.”

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