Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sun Stand Still – Steven Furtick

© 2010 Multnomah Books, Colorado Springs

You expect to read mixed reviews for things—books, movies, restaurants. You don’t often see them in the same review. But I find myself with mixed thoughts after having read Steven Furtick’s new book Sun Stand Still.

Steven Furtick is the founding pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is young. He is hip. He is everything that an up-and-coming pastor would want to be. What does he have that gets the attention of book publishers, and turns the head of readers? A good line and a noticeable presence. Elevation has grown to more than 6,000 attenders in three locations in four years—that’s noticeable. The first few pages of the book reveal several catchy, creative lines for the memory of the reader.

Basing his premise on the story of Joshua’s prayer mid-battle for the day not to end until the Israelites have completely defeated the enemy (see Joshua 10 for the full story), Furtick builds an argument for strong faith-filled prayer. The book is inspiring to the point of excitement. It is a reminder that we are to exercise extreme faith in our daily living, and daily prayer in our faithful living.

On the upside, the author speaks to a new, younger audience who may not be impressed with the age-old preacher filled with sweat and rage as he shouted the message to this new audience’s grandparents. Furtick opens scriptures to inspire Christians to build into their faith a God-sized desire.

Several things were not so exciting about the book though. First of all, the need for the author to create a dictionary to define his terminology: audacious faith; Sun Stand Still prayer; Page 23 vision, and the like. Also, the “Page 23 vision” itself is based on Jim Cymbala’s Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire rather than Christ. And especially, the tendency for the teaching to come across as a magic mantra which will cause the person praying to accomplish great things for God (though, the author spends several pages trying to avoid just this misunderstanding).

Did I enjoy the book? Were good ideas developed? Yes, of course. Is this a book I would recommend? I’m not convinced that it would be a helpful read. For this reason, I give it only two and one-half out of five reading glasses.

Benjamin Potter, October 26, 2010


Carrie said...

Hopped over from Semicolon this morning.

I saw this book but couldn't bring myself to read it. My husband did and had about the same mixed-bag reaction as yourself, but ultimately felt like it was not so helpful a read. So I skipped it.

I've grown a little weary of such titles/topics/hipness. ;)

Benjie said...

Truth be told, if this hadn't been an advanced readers copy, I probably wouldn't have read it.

the reading wasn't bad, but it really wasn't a big encouragement either. You've probably got better books to read with your time. And there are many better books on prayer out there.

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