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BookSneeze Review: Outlive Your Life

5 October, 2010

Outlive Your Life is written by well-known Christian author Max Lucado.  Lucado retells (in his engaging story-telling style) key events in the book of Acts and uses them to motivate the reader towards social justice causes.

The use of the Bible is liberal – many different versions are used, depending on which suits best (including some dubious modern paraphrases) and the retellings of the events of Acts are written with a lot of liberties and artistic license taken.  There is more space given to “modern parables” – stories chosen to illustrate Lucado’s point – than there is to the Biblical accounts.

In the end, I felt helpless. There genuinely are many, many needs around the world.  As a stay at home parent on a limited budget I felt like our family’s efforts (through child sponsorship) were inadequate.  I felt as though my daily work of caring for young disciples (ie my children) was unvalued and unnecessary.  Perhaps this is simply his bias as a working husband and father, perhaps it just didn’t suit his point. On the upside, though, the short chapters make this book easy to pick up for ten minutes here and there, rather than feel like large chunks of time are needed to read the book.

The study notes and questions look good although a lot of the suggestions are simply not practical for a stay at home parent of young children.  I fear, however, that as a study the book will only attract groups who are already interested in social justice rather than encouraging those who aren’t to get involved.

The end of the book contains advertisements for an overwhelming amount of supplementary resources available in association with this book.  When did the work of uplifting Christians through the written word become so much like the marketing for a Disney Movie?

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