Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

In recent months, I have read several books that focus on global human needs (hunger, poverty, etc.) and challenge Christians, especially wealthy western Christians, to take a front-line position in helping to meet these needs. Max Lucado's most recent book, Outlive Your Life, is in keeping with this theme.

Lucado is known for his gift of storytelling to make a deeper spiritual point and OYL is no different. This book uses the early chapters of the biblical book of Acts as a springboard to tackle such topics as turning a blind eye to human needs, the importance of community, persecution, defending the helpless, and the power of prayer. I admit that I am not a big fan of Lucado, because I am distracted at times by his attempts to tell an engaging story when an in-your-face point would be more effective. Some topics are best not watered down.

With all that said, I enjoyed this book and, oddly enough, some of the story illustrations were my favorite parts. Go figure, my biggest complaints about Lucado in the past were what I benefited most from in this latest book from him. The opening, Father Benjamin: A Fable, was insightful into what it means to Outlive Your Life.

This book includes a Discussion and Action Guide in the back. I did not work through every question, but the parts I did look over were well done. I am convinced that the book is not intended to be read apart from this action guide. Using this guide would greatly enhance the book and would be a great tool for small groups to use to put the concepts into practice in a community setting.

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