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Thursday, September 1, 2011

"With" by Skye Jethani

Opinions expressed in this review are my own and I have not been paid for the writing of it.  I have been provided with a free copy of this book by for review.

In this paradigm altering book regarding man's relational stance toward God, Skye Jethani contrasts the misguided notions of living under, over, from and for God with the correct one of living with Him. This book should be approached with an open mind; as, in each of our lives we surely have, or will go through seasons of relating to God in one or more of these ways along the path to maturity. Jethani is the managing editor of Leadership Journal, published by Christianity Today International and he has written for several leading publications in the genre.

Jethani artfully uses a narrative of the mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, Italy as an analogy of the blindness of living life clouded by the wrong mindset toward God. The beautiful mosaics of the Galla Placidia are shrouded by the dimness and crowding of the tourist attraction. At the dropping of a coin into a metal box the mausoleum is illuminated for a brief moment. Jethani explains, “Each time the lights come on, the visitors are given another glimpse of the world behind the shadows, and their eyes capture another element previously unseen—deer drinking from springs, garlands of fruit and leaves, Jesus gently reaching out to his sheep that look lovingly at their Shepherd” (Jethani 2011, 100). The darkness of a misguided relationship with God occludes the true majestic beauty of His reality.

This book is deeply insightful.  Jethani relates his personal experiences and those of others he has interviewed, as to how these mistaken Godviews affect our relationship with Him. With includes an Appendix (A) which contains information as to how to pray more effectively. Appendix (B) contains “Discussing With Others” chapter questions, that are valuable for deeper thought and explanation, especially in small groups. I would recommend this book to any anyone who desires to know God more deeply and truthfully.  Most assuredly, the maturity level of Christians is directly impacted by the maturity of their leadership. Christian leaders would do well to read and consider the contents of this book.

Rev. Patricia Paige Harrison

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