Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Max on Life: Answers and Insights to Your Most Important Questions by Max Lucado

From the Publisher: We have questions. Child-like inquiries. And deep, heavy ones. In more than twenty-five years of writing and ministry, Max Lucado has been the receiving line for thousands of such questions. The questions come in letters, e-mails, even on Dunkin Donuts napkins. In Max on Life he offers thoughtful answers to more than 150 of the most pressing questions on topics ranging from hope to hurt, from home to the hereafter.
Max writes about the role of prayer, the purpose of pain, and the reason for our ultimate hope. He responds to the day-to-day questions—parenting quandaries, financial challenges, difficult relationships—as well as to the profound: Is God really listening?

Max Lucado’s He Still Moves Stones was the first work of Christian Living/ Christian non-fiction I had ever read.

My minister dad had left the book at home with his sermon notes and I was sick with the flu and reached for it on the coffee table because it was there. I was 11. But, Max Lucado has a way of speaking directly and easily to his readers, using simple analogies and never falling into condescension. I expected the same when I cracked open Max on Life Max’s Insights on Questions asked him by Christians in his congregation and beyond.

Max does not shirk from the easiest or trickiest question. Nor does he play devil’s advocate; nor does he blanket any answer with “ you should believe….” He answers straightly. Using scripture (always), using anecdotes ( when needed). I have read several books of this ilk ( a good representation is Eric Metaxas’ Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About God ( but were afraid to ask )) and what strikes me about Lucado is how greatly he distances personal experience to answer candidly. Sure, he draws on his own emotions and convictions; but this book could easily have fallen into “Well, when I was struggling…”etc., etc., This is not Max’s autobiography. What he leaves out in terms of personal example he makes up for by starkly pulling back a curtain and delving succinctly into the questions asked.

These are universal and familiar questions: about family, suffering, hope, destruction, God in a Godless world. To many, you will have heard these and seemingly every answer to them before. What is comforting about Lucado’s approach is that he speaks to you exactly as if you approached him for coffee and he was interposing as minister/guide. He handles tough questions on heaven/hell (yep, Rob Bell, you’re not the only one taking this on) and even speaks to homosexuality, divorce, pre-marital sex, abortion---- the major themes and questions which pervade 21st Century Christianity.

I was impressed by the realism in the book and Lucado's honesty: Lucado knows he cannot answer a question ( face it, what human can when dealing with questions of the universe), he accepts that we look through a glass dimly and provides the comfort of scripture as the slice of eternity or human comprehension can rely upon.

If you speak Christianese, this is a solid addition of Christian living for your collection.

I was grateful to Thomas Nelson for sending me this book

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