With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God

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Overview

Stop Living Your Life Under, Over, From and For God and Start Living in Communion With Him.

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If we've grown weary of Christianity, ifwe find most any local church uninspiring, maybe the problem lies not in the Christianfaith or these faithful bodies, but in our own disgruntled hearts. In With, Syke Jethani tenderlyunmasksthe clichédposturing that too often masquerades as genuine communion with Christ. More importantly, he takes ...

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Overview

Stop Living Your Life Under, Over, From and For God and Start Living in Communion With Him.

Endorsements:

If we've grown weary of Christianity, ifwe find most any local church uninspiring, maybe the problem lies not in the Christianfaith or these faithful bodies, but in our own disgruntled hearts. In With, Syke Jethani tenderlyunmasksthe clichédposturing that too often masquerades as genuine communion with Christ. More importantly, he takes readers to the humble place they must occupy—in prayer,studying Scripture,with the Church—if faith, hope, and love are to truly mark our lives.-James H. Gilmore, author, The Experience Economy

Made of the stuff of spiritual classics and presented in simple, contemporary terms, Skye Jethani does each of us a great service in calling us to reimagine the way we relate to God. We so readily fall prey to living out distortions and reductions to our Christian faith—with disastrous consequences. You and I are far more than sinners, consumers, managers, and servants. We are dearly loved by God and made for eternal communion with him. Everything looks different when we live life in response to God's love.-Paul Louis Metzger, Ph.D., Professor of Christian Theology & Theology of Culture, Multnomah Biblical Seminary and author of The Gospel of John: When Love Comes to Town

Cleverly using four prepositions—under, over, from, andfor, Skye Jethani convincingly diagnoses the reigning paradigms of life—whether secular or religious—and shows how each one has captured some element of truth but in the end is deficient; Ultimately, they miss the most important thing—real communion with the living God. Thus utilizing one final preposition,With, he lays out what it really means to know and experience communionwithGod—a life of faith, hope and love—the very things that we all desperately want and need. This is a helpful, encouraging, and inspiring book.-Jim Belcher, author of Deep Church

It doesn’t matter, as old theologians were rumored to argue, how many angels can dance on a pinhead. But it does matter which preposition governs your faith—over, after, against, for, from, under, with. Who knew what huge worlds turn on such tiny words? Who knew what theological riches were laced into the bones of grammar? Skye has done a great service to the church. In prose elegant and clear, with insights keen and deep, he shows how everything changes with just one word: With. It’s a book I want my whole church to read.-Mark Buchanan, author of Spiritual Rhythm

Who knew that a preposition had so much influence? Skye's book will challenge the way that you think about God and faith digging deep into our motivations and heart issues. You can't read this book and not see yourself and others differently!-Margaret Feinberg, author of Scouting the Divine and Hungry for God

This book will do for our generation what J.B. Phillips, in his classicYour God is Too Small, did for his.Withreveals views of God that can't satisfy and opens up the possibility for exploring a lifewithGod that more than satisfies.-Scot McKnight, author of One.Life and The Blue Parakeet, professor of theology and biblical studies at North Park University

Since I dove into With, I can't stop thinking about it. Skye Jethani's insights will change how you think about God...and you...and how the two of you relate.-Dr. Kara E. Powell, Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595553799
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/23/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 97,660
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Skye Jethani (@skye_jethani) is the executive editor of the Leadership Media Group at Christianity Today and also contributes regularly to Relevant, The Huffington Post, and radio programs around the country. His blog (www.skyejethani.com) was awarded 2nd prize for the best Christian blog by the ECPA. Skye earned his MDiv degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He and his wife live in Wheaton, Illinois, with their three children.

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Read an Excerpt

with

REIMAGINING THE WAY YOU RELATE TO GOD
By SKYE JETHANI

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2011 Akash Jethani a/k/a Skye Jethani
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59555-380-5

Contents

1 Life After Eden....................1
2 Life Under God....................23
3 Life Over God....................41
4 Life From God....................61
5 Life For God....................77
6 Life With God....................97
7 Life With Faith....................117
8 Life With Hope....................135
9 Life With Love....................157
Appendix A Communing With God....................175
Appendix B Discussing With Others....................187
Notes....................195
Acknowledgments....................205
About the Author....................207

Chapter One


Life After Eden


The Shadows

Fifteen hundred years ago, the emperor of Rome built a tomb for his beloved sister. The small building was designed in the shape of a cross with a vaulted ceiling covered with mosaics of swirling stars in an indigo sky. The focal point of the mosaic ceiling was a depiction of Jesus the Good Shepherd surrounded by sheep in an emerald paradise.

The mausoleum of Galla Placidia still stands in Ravenna, Italy, and has been called by scholars "the earliest and best preserved of all mosaic monuments" and one of the "most artistically perfect." But visitors who have admired its mosaics in travel books and on postcards will be disappointed when they enter the mausoleum. The structure has only tiny windows, and what light does enter is usually blocked by a mass of tourists. The "most artistically perfect" mosaic monument, the inspiring vision of the Good Shepherd in a starry paradise, is hidden behind a veil of darkness.

But the impatient who leave the chapel will miss a stunning unveiling. With no advance notice, spotlights near the ceiling are turned on when a tourist finally manages to drop a coin into the small metal box along the wall. The lights illuminate the iridescent tiles of the mosaic but only for a few seconds. One visitor described the experience: "The lights come on. For a brief moment, the briefest of moments—the eye doesn't have time to take it all in, the eye casts about—the dull, hot darkness overhead becomes a starry sky, a dark-blue cupola with huge, shimmering stars that seem startlingly close. 'Ahhhhh!' comes the sound from below, and then the light goes out, and again there's darkness, darker even than before."

The bright burst of illumination is repeated over and over again, divided by darkness of unpredictable length. 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. After seeing the mosaic, one visitor wrote: "I have never seen anything so sublime in my life! Makes you want to cry!"

Like the tourists in Ravenna, many come into Christian faith with great expectations. They have heard stories of jubilation and salvation, of the power to overcome this world and experience the divine in inexpressible ways. But once inside the ancient halls of Christianity many are disappointed. Where is the light, where is the illumination? Our hearts seek God and the goodness, beauty, justice, and peace we've been told he provides, but he often remains hidden behind the shadow cast by an evil world.

My concern is that we are inoculating an entire generation to the Christian faith. Many come with a holy desire to know God, to experience his presence in their lives, to be cared for like sheep entrusted to a meek and gentle shepherd. But this is not what they see or experience. In fact, they may leave the church without ever seeing a beautiful and enthralling vision of LIFE WITH God. The lights are never turned on to reveal the beauty that is present just behind the shadows. Instead they are offered a substitute form of Christianity, one that cannot break through the shadows and that never really satisfies the deepest longings of their souls.

When their experience of faith leaves them disappointed, they may falsely conclude that Christianity has failed. In reality, to quote G. K. Chesterton, "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." Or perhaps it might be more accurately said of our time that Christianity has not been presented and therefore has been left untried. The result is a generation disaffected and inoculated to the true Christian message.

But there are moments, unexpected and undeserved, when a coin is dropped and our vision is transformed by a bright burst of light. It may only be a brief glimpse, but in those moments we see the world behind the shadows, we see an entirely different way of relating to God, and we long for more.


The Postures

Unfortunately a great many people have settled for a darker existence, one under a shadow in which they relate to God in a way that leaves them discontent. Consider the following examples of four people I encountered. All identified themselves as Christians, most had significant church backgrounds, but they each related to God in a different way.


* * *

I had not met Joel before he came to my office for what he called "spiritual advice." A middle-aged man with some success at business, Joel described himself as a Christian with a weakness for alcohol, women, and gambling—the latter being the reason for his visit. A bad run of bets was now jeopardizing his business.

"I'm sorry for your troubles, Joel," I said, "but I'm not sure why you've come to see me."

"I don't go to church," Joel said, "but I know what's right and wrong. I'm concerned that God isn't going to bless my business because of what I've done. I want to make things right with him. I can't afford to have my partners and God against me."


* * *

Mark was a very well-read man. He devoured every business leadership book he could find, but he wasn't a business leader. Mark was a pastor. We met at a ministry conference and shared lunch together.

"The problem with most pastors," Mark began, "is that they think they're immune to market forces. They don't understand the basic principles on which every organization rises or falls. They just don't teach that stuff in seminary.

"I can't stand all the spiritualizing that goes on at these ministry conferences. We're just coming up with excuses for being bad leaders—for not doing more. Do you think the managers of Walmart sit around and contemplate? Why do people expect us to sit around and pray all the time? I'm not going to let my church atrophy like so many others."


* * *

Rebecca was a senior at a respected Christian college. With graduation just months away, she was wrestling with what she would do next.

"I've always dreamed of going to medical school," she said. "And I've got the grades to probably get in, but I'm just not sure I should do it."

"Why not?" I asked. "What's holding you back?"

"I'm not sure that's what God wants me to do. I mean, does the world really need another cardiologist? I want my life to matter more than that. I want to do something really significant."

"Like what?"

"Like be a missionary," she said. "Maybe in order to serve him, God wants me to sacrifice my dream of becoming a doctor. I just don't want to reach the end and feel that I missed out on a more significant life."


* * *

"I don't understand what I did wrong," Karen said through her tears. "I tried my best to raise him according to the Bible."

Karen's teenage son was struggling with severe depression and coping in unhealthy ways. His drug use only exacerbated the problem and led to more destructive behaviors.

"It isn't supposed to happen this way," she said, with equal doses of anger and pain. "We have always honored God in our home. We have always done what's right. We raised our kids God's way—on biblical principles. There's even a verse from Proverbs framed and hanging in our house: Raise up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Why is God punishing us?"


* * *

Joel, Mark, Rebecca, and Karen represent the four ways most people relate to God. And like the tourists trapped in the dark and smelly confines of the Galla Placidia, most people are ultimately unsatisfied with these four approaches.

Life From God

Joel, the fast-living businessman, sought to use God to bless his business. He embodies the posture of LIFE FROM God. People in this category want God's blessings and gifts, but they are not particularly interested in God himself.

Life Over God

Mark, the savvy pastor with a focus on organizational principles rather than on prayer, didn't have much space in his life or ministry for God. This is the LIFE OVER God posture. The mystery and wonder of the world is lost as God is abandoned in favor of proven formulas and controllable outcomes.

Life For God

Rebecca, the graduating senior dreaming of medical school, was primarily concerned with how to best serve God. This most celebrated of religious postures is LIFE FOR God. The most significant life, it believes, is the one expended accomplishing great things in God's service.

Life Under God

Karen, the distraught mother who tried to raise her son "by the book," was upset when God did not uphold his end of the deal. The LIFE UNDER God posture sees God in simple cause-and-effect terms—we obey his commands and he blesses our lives, our families, our nation. Our primary role is to determine what he approves (or disapproves) and work vigilantly to remain within those boundaries.

Whenever I encounter new people, either in the church context or outside it, I'm usually trying to determine which posture best captures how they relate to God. A casual conversation about their life and faith and a few simple questions is usually enough to uncover their assumptions.

• Seatmate on a cross-country flight: "I really don't think
much about God." Analysis: LIFE OVER God. • Neighbor at the local farmer's market on Saturday
morning: "If we can just stop these liberal judges, God
will bless our country again." Analysis: LIFE UNDER God. • Visitor at the church: "Every morning I wake up and
pray for God to expand my territory. And he has!"
Analysis: LIFE FROM God.
• Pastor talking about his congregation: "They're just
lazy. What they need is some motivational preaching so
they'll share their faith with their neighbors." Analysis:
LIFE FOR God.

As Western culture becomes increasingly secular and "post-Christian," I find many more people unconcerned about God. They give little thought to how God's presence could or should influence their lives, and that's assuming they believe he exists at all. Many people in the secular West live over God.

But we must not exaggerate the secularization and post-God posture of the world today. Despite the rise of so-called "new atheism," there are still wars being fought because of religion in the twenty-first century, and traditional religious values dominate many communities even in Western societies. Adherence to faith rituals (or superstitions, depending on one's point of view) remains very popular today. Living under God's expectations is still important to many people. In fact, many of our cultural conflicts can be attributed to people living under God, seeking to impose their values on those who would rather live over him.

At the same time, a rapidly growing segment of people are seeking to use God for their personal benefit and profit. Some of the largest congregations in the United States and elsewhere are predicated on the LIFE FROM God posture, as are some of the best-selling Christian books. With so many traumas within families and now the turbulent economy, people are turning to God and his representatives for solutions. In many cases they don't actually desire God, just his supernatural help. Sometimes it is called consumer Christianity, the prosperity gospel, or health-and-wealth preaching. In each case people are looking to God as a cosmic therapist or divine butler. He's what one friend has called the WD-40/Duck Tape combo pack—all you need to fix just about anything.

What I find most among my peers in Christian ministry is a highly activist form of faith. Whether by fighting poverty, growing the church, or engaging politics, we tend to find purpose and meaning through what we do for God and his kingdom. The LIFE FOR God posture is highly celebrated and those capable of accomplishing the most receive great accolades and admiration.

Recognizing these four postures of life helps us makes sense of the church's work. Much of the church's activity is spent trying to move people from one of these four postures to another. For example, we try to convince a generally irreligious person living over God to care more about God's values and commands and to begin living under his rule. We don't push this simply to be dogmatic or intrusive, although at times that may be how it is received. Rather we believe that LIFE UNDER God is both more rewarding and blessed.

Some churches have made it their explicit mission to transform religious consumers into fully devoted followers of Christ. In other words they want people to stop simply living from God and start living for him. This shift is usually measured by a person's participation in church activities, charitable giving, service to others, and engagement in both local and international missions. We try to convince them to do less for themselves and more for God and others. A particularly successful shift from living from God to living for him occurs when a person leaves her chosen profession and enters "full-time Christian ministry." Such stories are infrequent but highly publicized in faith communities.

A brief reflection on my own journey of faith reveals seasons in which I have occupied each of the four postures. I have lived OVER, UNDER, FROM, and FOR God. And when I think about my years in Christian ministry, I must admit that my efforts were largely focused on transferring people from one posture to another with mixed results. Sermons were written and preached, programs designed and launched, groups prepared and assembled, budgets created and tracked—all with the goal of moving people over God to under him and convincing others to start living for God and not just from him.


The Students

A few years ago I began to seriously question the four popular postures of the religious life. I knew LIFE OVER God was ultimately unsatisfying, and I wrote an entire book about the fallacy of consumer Christianity and the emptiness of simply seeking a LIFE FROM God. But a more honest exploration of both LIFE UNDER and FOR God uncovered more disturbing things.

Continues...


Excerpted from with by SKYE JETHANI Copyright © 2011 by Akash Jethani a/k/a Skye Jethani. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

1 Life After Eden 1

2 Life Under God 23

3 Life Over God 41

4 Life From God 61

5 Life For God 77

6 Life With God 97

7 Life With Faith 117

8 Life With Hope 135

9 Life With Love 157

Appendix A Communing with God 175

Appendix B Discussing With Others 187

Notes 195

Acknowledgments 205

About the Author 207

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Customer Reviews

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( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2014

    Reading this book has caused me to reevaluate how I relate to my

    Reading this book has caused me to reevaluate how I relate to my God. I fall into the FOR category more than I thought and daily I ask myself "Am I walking and communing with my God today?" It's different and this book through the simplicity of a preposition has brought clarity to my core belief about my relationship with Him. I'm so grateful that I read it.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    I love the concept, the pitch, argumentation and delivery done b

    I love the concept, the pitch, argumentation and delivery done by Skye Jethani in his book "With". It is very well written and refreshing in the way it promotes the main point of the book: namely that God wants us to spend our lives WITH Him and not in any other way (more on that later).

    I was happy to receive this book in an important period of my life as I am trying to reprioritize to seek more of God's presence daily. "With" came in very timely for me to this end!

    The book's main concept revolves around prepositions. Rather than living "over", "under", "from" and even "for" God, we are encouraged to - as the subtitle states - to reimagine the way we relate to God. Reimagine in such a way as to bring back the ultimate preposition. With. To live with God.

    Beautiful, simple and powerful book - much like a relationship WITH Jesus. Thank you Skye Jethani for bringing back the WITH with you to my world!

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  • Posted October 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    With by Skye Jethani

    The author of With took five prepositions and investigated each one in relationship to God. For instance, as I understand it, Life UNDER God believes divine will is the center of the 'cosmic apple' and is the capricious will of God. It's "Hey God, if I do this you owe me that. Life OVER God believes that natural laws and principles are at the center. Life FROM God places self and its desires at the core and the world revolves around self and personal desires. It is a gimmee, gimme attitude. Life FOR God puts God's mission in place of God Himself. God is your personal GPS so to speak. But Life WITH God? The goal is not to use God but to have a relationship. The goal is God. I did think this part of the book could have been stronger... I made myself examine my personal relationship with God, hoping to find only WITH God...I wish I was that wonderful. No there are some traces of UNDER, OVER, FROM, FOR but large chunks are WITH God. And the result of WITH God? Joy, because relationship is its center. I challenge you to read this book and take the time to check yourself out...and then aim for WITH God.

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  • Posted October 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good

    Let me start out by saying, I LOVED Skye Jethani's book The Divine Commodity. I thought it was smart, elegant, practical, important-everything a book should be. With, his follow-up effort, is not as good. But it's good. Very good.

    With focuses on five potential ways of relating to God. Jethani suggests that most church people are living FOR, FROM, OVER, or UNDER God instead of WITH God (the proposed ideal). Jethani devotes a chapter to each of the unhealthy prepositions before spending four chapters working through what it looks like to live with God.

    The strongest chapters by far are those dedicated to the four failing approaches. If you'd asked before I read the book, I'd have thought living under God, from God and for God were all excellent ways of relating to the Father. After reading Jethani's insightful commentary, I've changed my mind.

    Living from God puts too much emphasis on material blessings that may or may not come.

    Living under God suggests that adherence to rules will protect us from a dangerous world, and it won't.

    Living for God, I'm convinced, can elevate the mission of God above even God Himself, causing us to work for a Being we don't necessarily know or love.

    There must be a better way to see the Christian life.

    I had high hopes for with God.

    However, as Jethani explains how a life lived with God might look, he struggles to articulate it clearly and concretely, so that by the end I felt confident in the pre-eminence of the with posture and unsure of how I might embody it.

    This book is a valuable resource for the local church and the church worldwide as we attempt to communicate the spirit and truth of the Gospel. Jethani offers what I think is an excellent, accurate picture of what it looks like (and does not look like) to live as God's child. If only he'd been slightly more practical in the application.

    Read the book. Then we can all pow wow about application.

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  • Posted October 3, 2011

    "with" is with it

    Not only is Skye Jethani's "with" and excellent technical analysis of contemporary Christian life, it is also one of the few books daring to pinpoint the single issue which creates a problem in every Christian life. Sin. He effectively deals with the problem in each chapter. Where he leaves us wanting is the conclusion. What does the real Christian life look like without sin? He throws in a few ideas. But I sense like many of us, he is still searching. I hope the answer will show up in a sequel. The adjective approach to the various lives of Christians is an excellent one and should be taught to new and old believers alike.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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  • Posted August 26, 2011

    Walk with God

    BookSneeze has provided me with a copy of With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God on behalf of Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review. With by Skye Jethani may be a simple title, but its content is anything but simple. Where do you stand with God? Do you view yourself and your life under, over, from or for God? We tend to pick one of these four postures as we relate to God. However, Jethani proposes a better way, a more intimate relation to God- with God. At the beginning of Creation God intended to walk with us along our side. As we try to come into closer communion with God we will find that our eternal joy can begin now, rather than later.
    Though the first chapters that dealt with the common four postures were informative, I didn't find myself engaged with the book until the middle. I guess Jethani worked up to the meat of the book and served the potatoes first. That said, I did enjoy the "with" chapters in the latter half. With God isn't some set formula that works for one and all. Jethani suggests trying different means to attain a more intimate communion with our Father. In Appendix A he provides various prayer techniques and questions to help you engage yourself more with God.
    I always wonder if I am not "doing" prayer right. People often speak of prayer, but rarely do you hear the details. I sit there doubting my time. Is there something more? With allowed me to affirm my communion time with God. It's about experiencing that utter joy and bliss before our Maker, not wondering what to say next, but simply enjoying each other's presence.
    Jethani did an excellent job providing the reader with a clear view what it means to walk With God. This volume is for any Christian wanting to gain a clearer, more concise perspective of their walk with the Lord. I am sure the first several chapters may open many eyes to possible frustrations in their walk. I hope and pray that anyone who picks up this book will not peruse it for amusement, but use it to analyze their lives and make any necessary adjustments to walk With God.

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    With

    With (great title) by Skye Jethani, the editor of Leadership Journal, is a book about discovering how we relate to God. He spends a chapter each discussing what it means to live 1. Life over God, 2. Life under God, 3. Life from God, 4. Life for God, 5. Life with God.Jethani concludes that the only preposition fitting the Biblical worldview is life "with God." Life with God depends on a right understanding of grace, recognizing that we can do nothing to make God love us more or less, and that his greatest desire is to be in relationship with his people. Jethani's focus is on Christians' views of God and the all too common experience of a faith that leaves us feeling more afraid and frustrated than feeling alive.In the pages of With you will find a well written, poignant, and powerful call to the true center of our faith and our lives: God Himself. You will be reminded that above all things, we seek union with Christ, and that every time we place some goal, desire, end, or thing higher in our hearts than God we have created an idol, no matter how good that thing is when it is rightly desired.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2011

    With

    With is a christian book that allows the reader to think. It's one of those books that takes control of your brain and really makes you THINK. It's a christian book that is not only religious but is also fun. My favorite parts are the little cartoons found randomly in the book. They make me laugh and are just great. With is an awesome book about God. Skye Jethani did an amazing job with it and I congratulate her. A great book for all that I would recommend to anyone.

    I received this book from Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Worth the read for the introspective gained

    I barely got through reading this book. Normally, I'm a really fast reader and can bust through a book, but this book felt really dry and boring to me. There seemed to be a lot of repetition and the ideas weren't laid out in a nice neat order.

    The material itself was quite enlightening and I feel like it was worth the read, but I wish so much someone would just sum this book up in a 2 page book report, rather than my having to spend days reading a dry book.

    This book is about four different Christian worldviews: Life from God, life over God, live under God and life for God. Jethani explains each view in detail, dedicating a chapter and more to each of these worldviews. You end up seeing how you probably have a little bid of each of these worldviews in your life now or at least held these views previously. You can also see these views in all your family and friends and in other Christians. Jethani explains why none of these views is the view God wants us to hold. God wants us to life with God, not from him, for him, under him, or over him. If we can life life with God, this is where we will find Christian happiness and connect with God. It's the same idea that John Piper says "Make God himself your treasure" not the things you can get from God. Jethani explains how the 4 views are all ways of using God and getting things from God. But we are all guilty of using God. Using him to get to heaven, get blessings, etc. So this is a great book to give us understanding of ourselves so we can change our views and make sure not to use God but to love God for God Himself and enjoy life with God. I loved this idea that you get from the book. The knowledge part of the book was fantastic.

    Unfortunately the writing wasn't so good. The author would touch on one four views, then move on to another, then come back to the first. He skipped all over and just his writing style is so boring. Maybe if this book was a short sermon or pamphlet, it would have been successful. But I think the author lost focus and drifted here and there and the book just dragged on. The first chapter was the worst most boring. I barely got through it. Once I saw the value in what I was reading, I was able to press on and get through it to gain the knowledge. But especially the beginning of this book was painfully written and certainly needed a lot of editing!

    I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for this review but I did really give my honest opinion

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    VERY boring but good ideas on stuff all Christians should learn/know

    4 out of 5 stars for good ideas and what you learn from the book.
    1 out of 5 stars for readability because so boring and too much filler.

    I learned a lot about all Christians and myself from this book - it has ideas all Christians should know. IF you can force yourself to read this book, you will learn a lot. Much of this book is filler but with a lot of good ideas. I did end up underlining a lot of the book, but still, it could be condensed down to 20 pages reasonably. My guess is VERY few people will actually be able to complete the whole book.

    This book teaches you that almost all Christians have it wrong (or have had it wrong at some point in their lives) - they seek to use God in four different ways. 1) LIFE OVER GOD is when Christians put aside God's ways in favor of the logical world's ways in order to get ahead in life. 2) Christians seek a LIFE FROM GOD when they are after his gifts and blessings - what they can get out of God - and not interested in God Himself. These Christians seek a happy, trial free, wealthy, healthy life and only seek God as a means to this end. This view also includes those who use God as a ticket to heaven. 3) LIFE UNDER GOD is when Christians seek to obey God's commands so that He will bless our lives - we seek to appease God. This view includes Christians that believe if America were more godly, that natural disasters and 911 wouldn't happened to us. 4) LIFE FOR GOD on the surface seems the way to go - these Christians seek to live a life for God. These are your missionaries and people who seek to make sure their life is one of significance. These are the people who usually accomplish great things for God.

    Problem is all 4 of these views are not what God wants. And they are all actually de-throning God and a human attempt to take his place. While you and I may think some of these sound good, the author points out the underlying fault with each view.

    Then the author explains why LIFE WITH GOD is all God truly wants. Communion. This is what makes the book - it tells us why we have our thoughts and priorities in the wrong place. Stay exaclty in your job and serve God and build a relationship with Him. You don't need to quit, sell your house and go to Mexico and become a missionary. You can serve God right where you are.

    The author explains the reason most Christians look so un-Christ-like is because they do not REALLY KNOW GOD but are only using God. In the Bible, Jesus tells us that some will perform miracles in His name, but He did not know these - they were not his saved people.

    I think the author did a good job explaining the different views. I would have liked to see all the filler removed because it make the book VERY boring. I also would have liked to see better examples of someone who is living a LIFE WITH GOD. The way the author writes, it seems like the author doesn't even include himself as a person who lives a LIFE WITH GOD. All 3 examples he gives are obscure people from history and kind of hard to relate to. The author tells us that at times he has been in all 4 incorrect views but he doesn't really go into his current state. This lack of personalization, makes the book seem abstract.

    Because of this, this book did feel a bit like a book that tells you what is wrong with you but doesn't really give you a life application solution.

    Disclaimer: I gave my honest review. I received this book from the publisher but a positive review was not required

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR FAITH

    In Skye Jethani's book "With" he examines how God fits in the life of believers. Life from God; life over God; life for God; and life under God are four of the five ways a believer adapts faith within his or her life. Seeing how faith which is based on our understanding of who God is dictates our actions. The challenge in reading such a book is possessing the ability to open ones heart and mind to the realities of one's own relationship with God while realizing that the views presented in this book are those of the author.
    "With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God" is the full title of the book, a title that describes in a nutshell what this book is about. As one reads the book you will not be able to avoid evaluating how personal religious instruction has impacted your life. Upon completion of this book it is possible for the reader to develop a better understanding of what God means to him or her and what is needed to add to this very important connection. An open mind and a receptive heart is very much needed while reading, it would be very easy for someone to reject the words written if he or she is not willing to examine his (or her) self. I recommend this book.

    This book was provided to me free of charge by BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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