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A talented teacher unpacks the riches of traditional Christian spirituality for Christians burdened by the guilt and anxiety of introspective, "in my heart" spiritual techniques. A talented teacher unpacks the riches of traditional Christian spirituality for Christians burdened by the guilt and anxiety of introspective, "in my heart" spiritual techniques.


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A talented teacher unpacks the riches of traditional Christian spirituality for Christians burdened by the guilt and anxiety of introspective, "in my heart" spiritual techniques. A talented teacher unpacks the riches of traditional Christian spirituality for Christians burdened by the guilt and anxiety of introspective, "in my heart" spiritual techniques.

30 review for Good News for Anxious Christians: Ten Practical Things You Don't Have to Do

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn Beaty

    Phillip Cary is tired of undergraduate students arriving in his philosophy courses at Eastern University, wondering how they can really "let go and let God," "hear God's voice in their heart," "find God's will for their life," and fulfill any number of distinctly evangelical mantras that seem only to produce anxiety. Cary believes these mantras, which emphasize intuition and inner experience over external words of wisdom, are powerful but unbiblical outgrowths of a "new evangelical psychology" t Phillip Cary is tired of undergraduate students arriving in his philosophy courses at Eastern University, wondering how they can really "let go and let God," "hear God's voice in their heart," "find God's will for their life," and fulfill any number of distinctly evangelical mantras that seem only to produce anxiety. Cary believes these mantras, which emphasize intuition and inner experience over external words of wisdom, are powerful but unbiblical outgrowths of a "new evangelical psychology" that's grown in popularity only in the past 30 years. "Good News for Anxious Christians" aims to dismantle the power these mantras have among American Christians and to encourage readers to rest: to rest in God's word, the presence of fellow believers, and the knowledge that it is God, not us, who secures our futures and salvation. Salvation comes to us, not in us. While Cary's goal to ease evangelical readers' spiritual nerves is worthy, his rejection of internal experience and intuition as appropriate ways of knowing God is, in my estimation, asking readers to follow a God who does not communicate personally to and with them. In other words, in place of a therapeutic God who just wants you to land the right job and marry the perfect Christian, Cary suggests a God who acted once definitively in history, through the life of Christ, and is now "out there," waiting for us to intellectually accept his gospel and leave the rest of personal concerns to our own and others' wisdom. Sounds to me a bit like deism. What of the countless number of believers, in the Bible and throughout Christian tradition, who attest to an internal experience of the living God as the impetus for their conversion and continued faith? Does God not speak to us today except through his Word? Doesn't the Bible itself serve to point us outside itself to a God living and active in our world? I am guilty of the experiential excesses Cary takes on in this book, and to that end the book tempered my conflating of intuition with the Holy Spirit. But in the end I'd rather be an anxious Christian who knows that God is interested in Katelyn Beaty, than a supposedly tranquil Christian for whom the gospel is something to intellectually ascent to, not something in which to live, move, and have my being.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    There is great wisdom in this book that might relieve some Christian's distress. Unfortunately, it is packed together with overstatement ("So the idea of loving God unselfishly is silly and arrogant..." - tell that to Bernard of Clairvaux) and some tiresome and repetitious prose. I like Phillip Cary a great deal - have heard him speak and his Teaching Company lectures are excellent. This book is missing most of the historical, philosophical and theological context I have seen him display in othe There is great wisdom in this book that might relieve some Christian's distress. Unfortunately, it is packed together with overstatement ("So the idea of loving God unselfishly is silly and arrogant..." - tell that to Bernard of Clairvaux) and some tiresome and repetitious prose. I like Phillip Cary a great deal - have heard him speak and his Teaching Company lectures are excellent. This book is missing most of the historical, philosophical and theological context I have seen him display in other contexts and has too few real examples from life or Scripture to be consistently engaging. And that is a shame, because as I said, it also has some deep wisdom. Cary takes on what he describes as the "new evangelical theology" and its inward focus. His chapter titles include "Why You Don't Have to Hear God's Voice in Your Heart," "Why You Don't Have to 'Find God's Will for Your Life," and "Why 'Applying It to Your Life' is Boring." Instead of an inward focus on feelings, experiences, and motivations, he reminds us of the objective work accomplished by Christ and the freedom that provides Christians to act in the larger world. When he sticks to telling the gospel story, his prose sparkles. Most of the time though he is explicating his chapter titles and that explication is rougher. It is rough because the ideas of the "new evangelical theology" are vague and require more fleshing out. As it is it feels at time like he is combating strawmen. Cary needs to name names (the few times he does it are uneven - Prayer of Jabez, fair enough, but Dallas Willard? You need to say more) or at least provide more concrete examples of the errors he sees being made. He starts with examples from his students - they are not substantial. I, too, react against the evangelical language he describes, but I also reacted against some of his characterization of what it actually means. He also claims it is a new theology, but I think it has much deeper roots going back through Keswick (which he briefly acknowledges) and Pentecostalism, through 19th century revivalism, back through Pietists and Puritan sources that focused on deep inwardness and self-examination. I think Cary knows this, but tried to write a popular book stripped of historical context. Of course, there is also a modern context, set in American consumer society, which Cary talks about repeatedly, but never explicates all that thoughtfully. Cary solutions of acting like adults (God's stewards), cultivating the virtues, loving your neighbor, and hearing the gospel repeatedly (he obviously did not grow up with weekly altar calls in the service or he would clarify this a bit more) are good medicine. Good objective Lutheran/Anglican medicine. Of course, history would show that much of what he is writing against arose, albeit in a more distant past, as a reaction against the failures of this approach (see Puritans, Pietists, Kierkegaard, the marketing of American Protestantism). So I would recommend this book, but with reservations. I will dip into it in the future, especially the good parts that I have marked, but am glad my reading it all the way through has been completed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chanequa Walker-Barnes

    YES & NO I’ve just finished reading this book for the 4th time as I teach it in my spiritual formation class. Each time I read it, I alternate between wanting to throw it away and yelling “amen” at some of its great pearls. My students generally have the same reaction. Cary describes ten misguided teachings of what he calls “the new evangelical theology” and how they produce enormous anxiety about one’s faith (and for clergy, our teaching and preaching). There is some real wisdom here and the boo YES & NO I’ve just finished reading this book for the 4th time as I teach it in my spiritual formation class. Each time I read it, I alternate between wanting to throw it away and yelling “amen” at some of its great pearls. My students generally have the same reaction. Cary describes ten misguided teachings of what he calls “the new evangelical theology” and how they produce enormous anxiety about one’s faith (and for clergy, our teaching and preaching). There is some real wisdom here and the book is certainly worth reading by anyone who has ever been influenced by US evangelical theology (which is almost every Christian). Where the book goes wrong is Cary’s assumption that his orthodox evangelical view of the Christian faith is both normative and right. Every argument in the book rests upon dichotomies, some of which could easily be nuanced or plain out rejected. He loves a good straw man argument, especially against other faiths and“liberal Protestantism” (which he never defines). At the same time, enough of my students respond to this book as life-changing in the sense that it frees them from the pressure of having to continually seek God’s will for each and every step of their lives. So I will continue to use it, along with helping them to critique the ideological biases of the author.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    The ideas in this book have absolutely revolutionized my understanding of how God works in our lives as believers. Before reading this book, I had no idea how much of my definition of a "good" Christian was stemming from some basic misunderstandings of ideas like "God's Will" and "Listening to the voice of God", etc. Here's an overly-simplified example: I have often been paralyzed when trying to make a decision because I think I need to be listening more carefully to find out what "God's will" f The ideas in this book have absolutely revolutionized my understanding of how God works in our lives as believers. Before reading this book, I had no idea how much of my definition of a "good" Christian was stemming from some basic misunderstandings of ideas like "God's Will" and "Listening to the voice of God", etc. Here's an overly-simplified example: I have often been paralyzed when trying to make a decision because I think I need to be listening more carefully to find out what "God's will" for my life is... Phillip Cary gently reveals that this is not a Biblical understanding of God's will. God's will is both obvious (as revealed in the Bible) and unavoidable (because he is all-powerful and we cannot accomplish anything against his will). God's will is NOT a secret and specific plan for our lives that we must discover. We are called to make wise decisions, not to make "the right" decision in order to be in God's will. This revelation alone was worth the whole book for me, as it has helped me to face some tough choices we've recently had to make. God's will is not a scavenger hunt filled with mystical clues we must interpret and obey. God can work through any of our choices to accomplish his will. What a relief!! I think the title is incredibly misleading--this is not just a book for "anxious Christians," it is a book for this present generation of Christians who, often through no fault of their own, have incorporated popular spiritual ideas (like "Let go and let God") into their faith without realizing the consequences. It was the subtitle of this book ("10 practical things you DON'T have to do") that actually motivated me to read it. Honestly, I didn't realize how anxious I was about some aspects of my Christian walk until I read this book and realized that I HAD been worrying about many of the issues the author brings up. I find myself being freed from subtle anxieties with every chapter I read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Guess I must not be an anxious Christian. Though I can see this book as being helpful to some I definitely feel that the practical things the author is talking about are differences in definitions of terms. I ended up skimming the book as it became tedious for me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Todd Hains

    Read this book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    This book was extremely helpful- if not essential- in establishing my own adult relationship with God based on who the Bible has revealed Him to be, rather than merely basing it on the "doctrine of men" of Western Christianity, which can often be so heavily wrapped in cliches and cultural context that it buries the truth of the Gospel. This book was indeed a relief for anxiety and made for a more free and real understanding of who God is and what it means to be made by Him, to know Him, and to f This book was extremely helpful- if not essential- in establishing my own adult relationship with God based on who the Bible has revealed Him to be, rather than merely basing it on the "doctrine of men" of Western Christianity, which can often be so heavily wrapped in cliches and cultural context that it buries the truth of the Gospel. This book was indeed a relief for anxiety and made for a more free and real understanding of who God is and what it means to be made by Him, to know Him, and to follow Him in the way that we live.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    It was because I listened to some of Phillip Cary's lectures on St. Augustine and on the history of Christian theology that I decided to pick up this book. I admired the lectures, but this was a bit of a disappointment. He provides ten observations, directed at confused evangelical students in his philosophy classes, explaining why what they have been taught in their churches is not orthodox doctrine and need not worry them. He suggests that the theology they are being taught is very new and ver It was because I listened to some of Phillip Cary's lectures on St. Augustine and on the history of Christian theology that I decided to pick up this book. I admired the lectures, but this was a bit of a disappointment. He provides ten observations, directed at confused evangelical students in his philosophy classes, explaining why what they have been taught in their churches is not orthodox doctrine and need not worry them. He suggests that the theology they are being taught is very new and very wrong. In each case he provides a reasoned antidote, based on Biblical authority. But he doesn't cite any specific examples of people preaching what he claims they preach, nor does he acknowledge that the Bible often argues with itself in these matters. He relies heavily on the parable of the talents, for example, interpreting it to mean that we are called upon to be good stewards, husbanding the resources we have been given. He suggests we should think of this when encouraged in pledge drives to "look in your heart and ask what God wants you to contribute." He suggests taking out a pencil and paper, calculating how much you can afford to give to charity, and then asking yourself whether you want to contribute anything at all to an organization so emotionally manipulative. So far so good. But Jesus also told the rich man to sell all he had and give everything to the poor. How is that reconciled with the parable? The conflict doesn't come up in his discussion. So an interesting book with what are probably (I don't really know) good criticisms of some modern theology. But based too heavily on what he would call orthodox and I would call narrow and selective Biblical interpretation.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    I expected more from this book. Good News got bogged down by repetition and lack of good editing. There are lots of seeds of good points and food for thought. The content includes explanation of flaws in leaning on your heart and intuitions as being synonymous with "God's will" or the Holy Spirit, challenging the reader to go back to the solid basis for faith: Scripture. I enjoyed chapter 7 the most, and his discussion of virtue in the Christian life. The author also makes an excellent point abo I expected more from this book. Good News got bogged down by repetition and lack of good editing. There are lots of seeds of good points and food for thought. The content includes explanation of flaws in leaning on your heart and intuitions as being synonymous with "God's will" or the Holy Spirit, challenging the reader to go back to the solid basis for faith: Scripture. I enjoyed chapter 7 the most, and his discussion of virtue in the Christian life. The author also makes an excellent point about "application" being an erroneous focus for Christian preaching and teaching; the Christin will learn less about living as a Christian by focusing on how to apply truths than they would be simply focusing on Jesus Himself. These are just a few examples of topics covered. Overall, Cary seemed to have less to say about the "anxiety" created in Christians referenced in the title, but more on the problem of "confusion" created in Christians through faulty theology. I can't say I agreed with every point he makes, but the book will make you think. For some who have had experiences with evangelicalism that left bad tastes in their mouths, this book might free you from those bad experiences, and show how they don't hold up as being representative of all evangelicals.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Interesting read. A lot of dog-eared pages in this one, and things to ponder. I thought the author made some good points, but...he also made the same points about three times in each chapter. Could have been shorter.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    A must read for the anxious evangelical and for the confused who wish to understand them better. Warning: this book may set you free or it may set you on fire.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    I really like this book because it clarified the anxiety I feel when folks feed Christian memes and slogans my way, especially those telling me what I ought to do to experience all kinds of spiritual things, especially Jesus. Carey points out clearly that the point of being a Christian and going to worship is to meet Jesus, repeatedly. It is not to "experience" something that makes us feel better or to "do" something that is "spiritual." Orthodox Christian doctrine and liturgies keep our focus o I really like this book because it clarified the anxiety I feel when folks feed Christian memes and slogans my way, especially those telling me what I ought to do to experience all kinds of spiritual things, especially Jesus. Carey points out clearly that the point of being a Christian and going to worship is to meet Jesus, repeatedly. It is not to "experience" something that makes us feel better or to "do" something that is "spiritual." Orthodox Christian doctrine and liturgies keep our focus on the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, on the written and spoken word, and participation in the Sacraments. In other words, we are not the center of worship and worship is not for us. Fine book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peter F

    Overall a good antidote to various functional denials of the objectivity of Christ and the gospel in modern evangelicalism. Some quibbles with his understanding of suffering in the Christian life. Also, Cary probably doesn't have a robust understanding of the third use of the law in sanctification as I'm not sure how one would preach the law faithfully with such a strict dichotomy between "doing"/"believing" as he articulates. Separate to the content, this book is probably mistitled. It really i Overall a good antidote to various functional denials of the objectivity of Christ and the gospel in modern evangelicalism. Some quibbles with his understanding of suffering in the Christian life. Also, Cary probably doesn't have a robust understanding of the third use of the law in sanctification as I'm not sure how one would preach the law faithfully with such a strict dichotomy between "doing"/"believing" as he articulates. Separate to the content, this book is probably mistitled. It really isn't about "anxiety" properly speaking but rather about the ways in which the "new evangelical theology" is spiritually and mentally unhealthy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Galle

    Although I don't think of myself as anxious, I took part in a small group where we read this book. I don't agree with a lot of it as it makes very drastic statements that goes against what I believe in. I can't say it won't help someone, but for me it made me frustrated and wanted to throw the book off my balcony! It does have some good tips and good food for thought about how you should live and view various things in life. Take it with a grain of salt though and don't let it change what you be Although I don't think of myself as anxious, I took part in a small group where we read this book. I don't agree with a lot of it as it makes very drastic statements that goes against what I believe in. I can't say it won't help someone, but for me it made me frustrated and wanted to throw the book off my balcony! It does have some good tips and good food for thought about how you should live and view various things in life. Take it with a grain of salt though and don't let it change what you believe in.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Luther

    Not what I expected but even better. Phillip Cary does a great job of pointing out Christian cliches or ways of thinking that become so normal amongst Christian but actually upon further observation we see can be quite harmful. He does a good job at the end of the book of tying it back to the gospel and showing us our need for Jesus! This was an interesting read for me. I would recommend!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Five stars for chapters 1-6 and 9. Four stars for chapters 7 and 10. Two stars for a lot of unnecessary repetition and chapter 8: So I split the difference and gave it three stars, because I did like this book, and I really liked most of it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Arsenio

    important to read this is a logically consistent exposition of theological fallacies plaguing modern evangelical teaching. as such, i consider this book as important to know and understand.

  18. 5 out of 5

    BJ

    Though I don't agree with every critique of evangelicalism this book raises (and found it highly repetitive and in need of editorial trimming), it speaks gospel grace to anxious Christians like me that my past and present church experience needs to hear. Provocative. Though I don't agree with every critique of evangelicalism this book raises (and found it highly repetitive and in need of editorial trimming), it speaks gospel grace to anxious Christians like me that my past and present church experience needs to hear. Provocative.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    Terribly written (can you say comma splice...). However, very great points were made. Some that don’t come full circle, but the intentions and overalls of his points are: thought provoking, provide clarity, and CAN be quite biblically sound.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Annie Kell

    This book was far better than I expected it to be. It delves into modern evangelical thinking and how much of it is steeped into our culture and the fabric of our beings. Highly recommend.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    Some chapters of the book were helpful, but the book discussed the errors of new evangelical theology more than the reality of battling anxiety. This book may be for a new theologian who is anxious about certain things such as following the will of God, but it doesn't seem to be for someone who is battling with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (except for the chapter which discusses Job). Some chapters of the book were helpful, but the book discussed the errors of new evangelical theology more than the reality of battling anxiety. This book may be for a new theologian who is anxious about certain things such as following the will of God, but it doesn't seem to be for someone who is battling with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (except for the chapter which discusses Job).

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    If you've ever felt distant from God and wondered what you have to "do" to get back on track, what you need to "do" is read this book :) Cary argues that some of the most common things we are hearing in evangelicalism (or what Cary labels "new evangelicalism"), like hearing God in your heart, letting go and letting God, finding God's will, and experiencing God, are untrue and even harmful ideas. Cary believes that in different ways these ideas shift our focus onto ourselves rather than Christ and If you've ever felt distant from God and wondered what you have to "do" to get back on track, what you need to "do" is read this book :) Cary argues that some of the most common things we are hearing in evangelicalism (or what Cary labels "new evangelicalism"), like hearing God in your heart, letting go and letting God, finding God's will, and experiencing God, are untrue and even harmful ideas. Cary believes that in different ways these ideas shift our focus onto ourselves rather than Christ and the good news of the Gospel. Most people will find something controversial in at least one of Cary's chapters, leaving them thinking "Is that true?" and "But what about the verse that says...?" This last question ("But what about the verse...") is the most important. The fact that Cary doesn't provide thorough arguments from Scripture and rebuttals of common texts that "new evangelicalism" appeals to is the book's weakest point. And if it weren't for the fact that Cary manages to be largely persuasive despite this, I would have given the book only three stars instead of four. Cary *does* provide some arguments from Scripture and *does*, at least on one occasion that I can remember, offer an alternative understanding of what you might call a "new evangelical proof text," but the reader will still be left with a lot of unanswered questions. And even if a person doesn't find Cary's arguments persuasive, I think they would still benefit greatly from the book as a balance (to say "hearing God in your heart") rather than a refutation. Cary's alternative to the new evangelical theology is persuasive enough and distinctive enough that it needs to be heard and wrestled with by any Christian wondering about "finding God's will" or struggling with their Christian experience. This is why I think the book is a must read even though I'm not sure I agree with all of it and I have some "But what about the verse..." questions of my own. But finishing on a positive note, even apart from Cary's main thesis, his insights into topics like the nature of love that can be isolated from the main thrust of the book are valuable in themselves and sometimes even astounding.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    This is a good book. I give it a solid three stars. The goodness of it is that it gets at a serious problem in Christian piety. The problem is identified by Cary as "the new evangelicalism." What he means by that is the popular ideas about how to be a good Christian that all just end up making good Christians feel anxious about their spiritual state. They are ideas that turn Christianity into a consumerist religion. His solutions are very sound Lutheran solutions. But in my view, that's the big This is a good book. I give it a solid three stars. The goodness of it is that it gets at a serious problem in Christian piety. The problem is identified by Cary as "the new evangelicalism." What he means by that is the popular ideas about how to be a good Christian that all just end up making good Christians feel anxious about their spiritual state. They are ideas that turn Christianity into a consumerist religion. His solutions are very sound Lutheran solutions. But in my view, that's the big problem with the book. Cary is an Anglican, but he is theologically a Lutheran. The law/gospel framework out of which he develops his ideas does not allow him to help Christians really engage with the law as part of the gospel. It is WAY better than the nonsense passed off as Christianity in the new evangelicalism, and the focus is definitely the gospel, but I think Lutherans in general (and Cary in this book) miss the point of the law as something unto which Christians have been saved. He focuses so much on justification that sanctification is almost out of the picture for the Christian life altogether. That said, this is a great book for helping people out of the traps of Baptistic thinking, and especially Pentecostalism.

  24. 5 out of 5

    WH

    Sometimes a bit repetitive, sometimes felt like there were unnecessary tangents, and a somewhat misleading title (this book is NOT about anxiety the way we would normally think of the word). But despite these small weaknesses, this book really made me think about some of the deficiencies in modern evangelical theology. A great read and highly recommended. The first half of the book was stronger than the second. These, for me, are the best chapters of the book: 1. Why you don't have to hear God's Sometimes a bit repetitive, sometimes felt like there were unnecessary tangents, and a somewhat misleading title (this book is NOT about anxiety the way we would normally think of the word). But despite these small weaknesses, this book really made me think about some of the deficiencies in modern evangelical theology. A great read and highly recommended. The first half of the book was stronger than the second. These, for me, are the best chapters of the book: 1. Why you don't have to hear God's voice in your heart (or, how God really speaks today) 2. Why you don't have to believe your intuitions are the Holy Spirit (or, how the Spirit shapes our hearts) 3. Why you don't have to "let God take control" (or, how obedience is for responsible adults) 4. Why you don't have to "find God's will for your life" (or, how faith seeks wisdom) 7. Why you don't have to keep getting transformed all the time (or. how virtues make a lasting change in us) 8. Why you don't always have to experience joy (or, how God vindicates the afflicted) Even if you don't think you are an anxious person, read this book!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Coyle

    There are at least two reasons to read Phillip Cary’s Good News for Anxious Christians: to help you think about what being “guided” by the Holy Spirit means, and to think about the problem of pain in greater depth. Written for his students, Cary’s goal is to remind us that Christianity is a message of Good News about Jesus Christ rather than a requirement that we experience a certain emotion or receive some form of internal message from God. Additionally, his chapter on suffering is good enough There are at least two reasons to read Phillip Cary’s Good News for Anxious Christians: to help you think about what being “guided” by the Holy Spirit means, and to think about the problem of pain in greater depth. Written for his students, Cary’s goal is to remind us that Christianity is a message of Good News about Jesus Christ rather than a requirement that we experience a certain emotion or receive some form of internal message from God. Additionally, his chapter on suffering is good enough (the best in the book, as far as I’m concerned) to merit special attention. How do you know what God wants you to do with your life? Who should you marry? What college should you go to? What career should you pursue? Professor Cary writes that when his students ask these and other questions they often seem to expect some kind of special, personal revelation directly from God into their souls which will guide them in making decisions. Read the rest of the review here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mindover...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Danny

    This was a powerful and thought provoking book. The title is not a great choice, though maybe as a subtitle it would have been better. It's more about understanding God's will in our lives and getting a grasp of our responsibilities as Christians. It really made me and my wife examine many things we've taken for granted and things we've accepted all our lives. It's especially helpful when thinking of how to convey the message of the Gospel to others. Where the book was weak was in the number of b This was a powerful and thought provoking book. The title is not a great choice, though maybe as a subtitle it would have been better. It's more about understanding God's will in our lives and getting a grasp of our responsibilities as Christians. It really made me and my wife examine many things we've taken for granted and things we've accepted all our lives. It's especially helpful when thinking of how to convey the message of the Gospel to others. Where the book was weak was in the number of biblical examples and in how much scripture it used in both arguing its points as well as how to live out those points. Overall I think this is a worthy book for all Christians to read and wrestle with in understanding God's will and place in their lives.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Richard Reeb

    Very thought provoking. Many of the chapters were freeing, leaving behind my listening for an internal voice. I'm not convinced of all of his major points. He seriously downplays experience, which I think he underestimates in value. In my experience, they aren't common occurrences. But when they do happen, they leave an imprint. I think what he is really addressing is the intellectual sloppiness of the current evangelical community. Waiting for the Spirit to knock you upside the head when if you Very thought provoking. Many of the chapters were freeing, leaving behind my listening for an internal voice. I'm not convinced of all of his major points. He seriously downplays experience, which I think he underestimates in value. In my experience, they aren't common occurrences. But when they do happen, they leave an imprint. I think what he is really addressing is the intellectual sloppiness of the current evangelical community. Waiting for the Spirit to knock you upside the head when if you had read proverbs, you'd already know the answer. Wisdom is not taught clearly enough nor stressed as an important attribute of a well trained mind. So, kudos to him for pointing out a few naked kings.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    One of the best, most liberating Christian books I've ever read, Cary's work is both intellectually rigorous but ultimately written with a heart for people-- all very fitting for a college philosophy professor, a man who clearly values ideas but only insofar as they make a difference in people's lives. The book lays out a number of things that modern-day evangelicalism teaches you MUST do to be a healthy Christian-- things like hearing the Lord's voice, seeking out His will in your life, and so One of the best, most liberating Christian books I've ever read, Cary's work is both intellectually rigorous but ultimately written with a heart for people-- all very fitting for a college philosophy professor, a man who clearly values ideas but only insofar as they make a difference in people's lives. The book lays out a number of things that modern-day evangelicalism teaches you MUST do to be a healthy Christian-- things like hearing the Lord's voice, seeking out His will in your life, and so on-- and then dismantles them, showing how they are not only unnecessary and unbiblical but, in the end, dangerous.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Brewer

    Phil Cary gives biblical reasons for why we do not need to “give God control”, “find God’s will”, and “let God work” in our lives. He implores preachers to focus on Christ instead of telling people how to live like Christians. Best part of the book: “the best way to help this bride get prepared for her Beloved is precisely to tell her about the Beloved...if you take up her time telling her how to live like a good bride, she’ll get bored and…anxious…But if you tell her about her Beloved, his beau Phil Cary gives biblical reasons for why we do not need to “give God control”, “find God’s will”, and “let God work” in our lives. He implores preachers to focus on Christ instead of telling people how to live like Christians. Best part of the book: “the best way to help this bride get prepared for her Beloved is precisely to tell her about the Beloved...if you take up her time telling her how to live like a good bride, she’ll get bored and…anxious…But if you tell her about her Beloved, his beauty and glory, his love for her and his mighty deeds…her love for him is renewed”. Beautiful work Dr. Cary.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    This book is about the 10 practical things you don't have to do to be a "Good Christian" like....why you don't have to "let God take control"... or "find God's will for your life." It is very eye opening and has challenged me to think more deeply about some of these things. Although I think the author means well, there are some points he makes that seem to take things to an extreme in an effort to get you to meet him half way in his viewpoints. He certainly challenged my thinking on some things This book is about the 10 practical things you don't have to do to be a "Good Christian" like....why you don't have to "let God take control"... or "find God's will for your life." It is very eye opening and has challenged me to think more deeply about some of these things. Although I think the author means well, there are some points he makes that seem to take things to an extreme in an effort to get you to meet him half way in his viewpoints. He certainly challenged my thinking on some things which is a good and healthy thing.

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