I am always troubled when a sermon or book starts out using the example of the individual blessed with “immediate” contact with God. By immediate contact I mean said individual had some form of Theophany, a burning bush, an audible voice, an obvious angelic visitor, or whatever of that nature.
Though the lessons or examples drawn are true, they carry far more weight, I believe, than what I experience via a “mediated” encounter with God. By mediated encounter I mean encountering God via the written word.
Such was my mindset when reading Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. (I would have enjoyed hearing the chapters preached!) The reading was engaging, at times some of the examples used to illustrate a pioint brought tears to my eyes and, at other times outbursts of joy! Sounds like Elevation Church is an exciting venue.
The book is full of pithy observations: “The Process is the Point”, “Pray and Push”, and others.
I was “put off” by the observation about using a qualifier in our prayer, such as “if it be thy will” . James 4:15? In the chapter Pray Like A Juggernaut, each example ends with the comment “…would you ….”. Qualifier? Give me a break!
The example of a “page 23 vision” and its qualifiers was encouraging, as was the inclusion of his Twelve Audacious Faith Confessions (might this serve as the next Twelve Step Program?).
I don’t see Peter or the Twelve exercising “audacious faith” in the early chapters of Acts, but obedient faith. Had they been audacious they may well have launched out of Jerusalem carrying the gospel to Judea and Samaria without waiting for the persecution? I don’t see Paul exercising audacious faith, but obedient faith in the face of trying and challenging experiences. Maybe it is a question of definition?
To me, ordinary men and women living in biblical obedience are “audacious”. Its expression is probably more of a function of basic temperament.
I would recommend the book as an enjoyable read of the unusual growth of a new church and its pastor.