To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie.

To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie.

by Phil Callaway


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, October 16


Would I Lie to You? Not This Year. 
Veteran author and speaker Phil Callaway is no stranger to daunting challenges. He has been laughed at—repeatedly—by large crowds of people from Halifax to Hong Kong. He fathered three children in three years, spent much of last year on airplanes built by the lowest bidder, and flipped an out-of-control ATV, which doesn’t mean he sold it for a profit. So who better than Phil Callaway to boldly accept a challenge that would make the average person run and hide?
Phil promised to tell the truth for an entire year, and he wasn’t joking. Twelve months later, his journal was crammed with successes, near-successes, and outright failures. During his year-long experiment with veracity, he made a disastrous financial investment, fielded hundreds of intrusive questions from friends and strangers, attended a thirty-year class reunion, and waded into possibly the most revealing—and hilarious—situations he has ever documented.
Find out what happens when a follower of Jesus does his level best to always tell the truth. There is no doubt you’ll be entertained. But don’t be surprised if you are left with a question: how might your life be changed if you sold out to the truth—with no exceptions?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590529171
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/03/2011
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.15(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.52(d)

About the Author

Phil Callaway is an award-winning author known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life. He is president of Laugh and Learn, Inc., and the author of twenty books, including Laughing Matters and Family Squeeze. Callaway is a wildly popular speaker who keeps being asked to appear at churches, couples’ nights out, healthcare conventions, and corporate events. He also is a repeat guest on national radio and television shows. Phil and his wife, Ramona, have three grown children.

Read an Excerpt

The Truth Dare

Some phone calls change your Saturday; some your entire year. When my editor called, he couldn’t have known he would accomplish both.

“I’ve had an idea for a while,” said Ron. “It will make for a great book, and you’re just the guy to write it.”

I’m human. I was flattered.

“Is it about understanding women?” I asked. “About being sensitive to my wife’s needs?”


“I’m good at those things, Ron. I am most excellent.”

“Are you telling the truth?”

“Uh…why do you ask?”

“Well, that’s what this book is about: complete and total honesty. I want you to see if you can tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth for an entire year.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, “you’re breaking up on this end.” (I pretended to hang up, and judging from the prolonged silence, he thought I had.) The truth is, as my Native American friend Roy likes to say, I had reservations.

For some, a lieless year would be an easy assignment. Their natural habitat is the truth. Not me. I lie for a living. Oh, I’m not a used-car salesman or a politician. Nor do I write copy for bank advertisements. It’s worse. I am a humorist. I stand in front of audiences and tell stories. These stories are 99 ¾ percent true—at least as far as I can remember. But sometimes I add just enough salt to keep a tale savory, just enough falsehood to keep people interested. Some of the things I describe may not technically have happened, but they might just as well have.

After pretending to get back on the line, I leaked all this information to Ron as if he were my priest. He seemed to listen attentively, though he could have been working a crossword puzzle, texting his wife, or reading e-mail. I told him the assignment would be complicated by the fact that I have been a chronic fudger all my life. Most people don’t know this because I have become so adept at it. I fudge that I’m fudging.

And to be honest with you, I learned it at church. The church my family was part of seemed to reward falsehood. Nothing seemed to be more important than a person’s outward appearance, so from an early age, I learned to fake my faith. Whenever anyone asked, I’d claim that I’d been having my devotions. I’d sing “I love to tell the story…of Jesus and His love” when I would sooner have had my eyebrows plucked by spider monkeys than talk to anyone about God. Our church embraced an impossible system of rules, which was rigged to render you miserable, no matter what you did. Ignore the rules and you were guilt-ridden. Follow them to the letter and you ended up either self-righteous or sporting a nervous twitch. As a result, I bathed my answers to adult questions in what they preferred to hear.

“What have you been up to, Philip?”

The truthful answer was, “When I haven’t been coveting or gossiping, I’ve been lusting. And, honestly, I kind of enjoy all three.” But instead I’d say, “Just struggling to memorize the gospel of John, brother.”

Ron quite enjoyed hearing my confession, and instead of being discouraged by it all, he was more convinced than ever that I was the perfect author for the project. I mentioned once again that history did not weigh in on the side of my success. “My ancestors were horse traders, Ron. They sold slow animals then got out of town fast.”

“You’re our guy!” he said, and we hung up.

I still wasn’t sold on the idea, but I couldn’t stop thinking that I would love to read such a book.

If someone else wrote it.

Following someone’s yearlong experiment in telling the truth wouldn’t just entertain me, it may change my thinking and—if the author were honest, vulnerable, and wise—inspire me with hope. I mentioned the book idea to friends who have known me for years. I said, “I am considering taking a truth vow.” Without exception, their eyebrows shot up to their bangs, though one said, “Isn’t that a bit like giving up arson for Lent?”

Yeah, sort of. But that didn’t stop me from accepting the challenge. And in no time I encountered the first major drawback. Having shared openly that I was now solely a truth-telling individual, I found that some of my friends insisted on getting a straight answer to things they’d wondered about since fourth grade.

“So,” one asked, “do you remember in 1983 when we rented Rocky III and I bought taco chips and root beer and you said you’d pay me back later?”

“I’m not sure. Is that the one with ‘Eye of the Tiger’?”

“Did you pay me back?”

“Probably not,” I said, handing him five bucks. I hadn’t written a word, and already I was out of pocket. How much would all this honesty cost me?

Other questions troubled me even more, like could I stay happily married while being completely honest with my wife? Would people pelt me with ethical dilemmas? What are the side effects to subjecting myself to sodium Pentothal injections for a year? How honest should I be in a book about my struggles with faith, family, and the challenges of life?

In the end I agreed to write this book for the same reason some people watch NASCAR on television. I was eager to see what would become of me. Would my life change? Would I crash?

“You sure I can’t write about my expertise in understanding women?” I begged Ron during our next phone call.

“Nope,” he replied. “Come on, Callaway, you can do this. Tell the truth and shame the devil. Besides, I want to read it.”

And with those words, the most intriguing year of my life began.

Author’s Note

This book is a work of fact. I have, however, taken two liberties. First, I engaged in minor chronological adjustments. Second, a handful of names and minor details were changed so that I may continue to live in peace and go out in public without incident in the small community I call home. I suppose a nomadic lifestyle would be ideal for an author. You could breeze into town, point out people’s inconsistencies and hypocrisies, then hightail it out of there before they discover how inconsistent and hypocritical you are. The first draft of To Be Perfectly Honest contained all the actual names and places, and it was really quite fun. But I realized it’s like a Wal-Mart greeter pointing people to Target. Not smart.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie. 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
dwgodby on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I began this book I laughed out loud several times as I thought what Phil was saying was incredibly funny.Maybe as I continued I got use to some of his encounters or maybe I was stretched to think deeper about being honestand how that plays out in life.I felt like this was a very well written book, one that allowed the reader insight into Phil's life as well as theopportunity to see oneself and see how honest and forthright one truly is.I'm not sure I would want to write a book as such, but glad Phil did.I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
abcarroll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A whole year of telling the truth...can it possibly be done, especially by a man that makes his living telling stories with just a bit of embellishment? Phil Callaway shows that it can be done, and it sometimes the truth is funnier than fiction. This book is humorous and thoughtful with some faith and spirituality thrown in. A very good, quick read.
tekn4god on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dear Family and Friends,I just wanted to let you know that for the next year I am going to be completely honest. I will not tell a lie. I will not be deceptive. I will tell you when those pants make you look fat. I will be truthful about who left a teaspoon of milk in the milk jug (it was Brandt). When you ask about that time that thing happened to you and who really was behind it, I won¿t change the subject ¿ or run away. I may laugh though.OK, I¿m not really going to spend an entire year being completely honest (I do try), but I did enjoy reading about Phil Calloway¿s journey to do exactly that ¿ spend an entire year without telling a single falsehood.Phil writes with a style that is humorous and engaging. Written as a daily journal, each day brings something new and yet ties back to previous stories. The people Phil meets and talks with know they can ask him anything (because he told everyone what he was doing) and everyone seems to take him up on it.Phil¿s struggles with addiction (Pac-Man, calm down people), anger, disappointment and loss of a loved one are on display for all the world to see. He hides nothing from the reader. Phil shares his most personal thoughts ¿ things I don¿t know any other man on Earth would share, so he is very easy to relate to. I felt as though I truly knew Phil and his life by the time I finished the book.I had a personal revelation while reading about Phil¿s difficulties with evangelism. I too struggle with talking to people about Christ, but now see how talking about Christ is really just talking about what¿s happened in my own life.Phil includes a study guide at the end of his book with questions related to lessons learned in his year long experiment. The questions can be used individually or in a group.To Be Completely Honest is a wonderful light read with revelations to be revealed in your own life long after you¿ve finished the pages.I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review through their Blogging for Books program. The opinions expressed here are my own.
Wabbit98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Canadian humorist, and Christian, Phil Callaway made a vow to tell the truth for one year; and keep a journal detailing his experiences across that year. While it is brave to do this, I do not see what the big deal is. Most people do tell the truth, though most of us are not known as humorists or best selling authors. Also the idea of it being a struggle sounds a bit odd for someone who should work on telling the truth to begin with. Often times it comes off sounding insincere. Really it looks more like he in inflating his ego to show how great he was for an entire year. For someone who claimed to tell the truth this book sounds like a lie.
RavenswoodPublishing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
PHIL CALLAWAY'S "TO BE PERFECTLY HONEST" (REVIEW)Phil Callaway's experiment to go one whole year without telling a lie is a hilarious story. The book is written almost like a journal documenting his days with this experiment. I found it hilarious, witty, and simply good fun. The story also teaches you about what it means to be a good Christian as well as what it means to live a life full of honesty.Phil Callaway is an extremely funny man whose works have brought much humor and joy to many people over the years. If you enjoy reading about life viewed in a humorous way then you'll love this book.-Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
TamiCPht on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Though it was not a laugh a minute type book, I loved the honest and the real struggle of this man's adventure of living a year lie-free. It was a true eye opener for him as well as me when I questioned if I would be able to make such a commitment to totally honest. In the end, I triumphed with the author on his becoming a better person for the effort.
Judgejudy2u on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an easy read and the author reminded me of odd Uncl Frankie that comes to the family reunion trying to get all the kids to pull his finger. Did Phil Callaway manager to tell the truth for a whole year? That's a matter of opinion. The concept, though not original, was good but the movie "Liar, Lair" was funnier. Both this book and that movie are corny. Would I recommend this book to a friend? To be "truthful"........probably not.
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
I have to admit that I found this book quite refreshing and funny. Imagine challenging yourself to not tell a lie for an entire year. Talk about your hard things to do! We tell so many lies, and isn't that how comedians make their living? I was impressed with Phil Callaway and his writing style, not to mention the fact that he actually took the assignment seriously. I found myself sympathizing and seeing myself many times throughout the book. I found myself thinking about all the lies I tell without thinking about it. I think you will find this a delightful book, and it is a moment to just take a deep breath and truly think about your spiritual life. But don't worry. You'll do it with a smile on your face! I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most of my books come from Thomas Nelson through the booksneeze program. Most of the ones that don’t come from Thomas Nelson come from Bethany House through their blogger review programme. Of the few that aren’t from Thomas Nelson or Bethany House, they come from Multnomah Publishers. This book that I just got, “To Be Perfectly Honest” by Phil Callaway, is one such book. In the book, Phil attempts to go an entire year without lying. At all. Not even ‘No, that dress doesn’t make you look fat,’ or ‘That green mush you served for dinner was DELICIOUS,’ lies. None of that. Nope, this man wants to go an entire year without any lies. Whatsoever. Not even to God. This book was an extremely easy read- I devoured the whole thing in about three hours. As a humourist, Phil Callaway has a fantastic writing style and I literally laughed out loud at many, many points during the novel. He has enough fluff to keep you giggly and enough meat to keep you thinking. Plus, he’s from Canada. So his awesomeness level went up by about a thousand points with that right there. Overall, I loved this book, I would recommend it to near everyone (and I have!), and I give it five out of five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
freesamplequeen More than 1 year ago
Such an intriguing idea that should not at all be foreign to or even strange to hear of, esecially in the Christian community, To Be Perfectly Honest is a refreshing and challenging read that should be taken in by all! In his book, Calaway humorously yet honestly walks through a year of his live through daily journal type entries, facing the challenge given him that he should go an entire year without telling any lies. His honest report of the experience is thought provoking, yet presented in a way that is easy to read, engaging and even laugh out loud funny at times. Through his journey, he shares stories, life experiences and events he faces and his way of handling them while trying to maintain his truthfulness. Readers of all walks will find challenge, humor and sobering honesty within this book and will likely find themselves facing the challenge themselves to at least comsider how truthful they really are as well as considering the effects of their responses on others with whom they interact. A highly recommended read, light and fun yet filled with challenge and life changing ideas sure to make an impact. I was provided a free copy of this ebook through the Waterbrook Multnomah Blogging for Books program. I was in no way compensated for my review or required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
negrito More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book
Pickle331 More than 1 year ago
The title of Phil Callaway's book intrigued me--and so did the premise. Is it really possible to go an entire year without telling a lie? Any lie? That's the challenge that Callaway's editor put in front of him. Go 365 days without telling even a little white lie. On his first attempt, he didn't even make it through two days. So he started again. To Be Perfectly Honest is his journal of his daily experiences. I found it to be very engaging. I could certainly empathize with the challenges he faced of being completely truthful. It wasn't easy! However, sometimes I wish he would skipped over the days when he did not have problems and would have spent more time sharing the days and times that were challenges. They were often pretty skimpy on the struggles he went through. I found it to be the most honest, though, toward the end of the year as he deal with his mother's end-of-life issues. Perhaps that's because I'm dealing with that myself--but his feelings of both relief and guilt really resonated. This is a book that you can pick up and put down quite easily. The chapters are short--sometimes a little tedious, but when they got like that, I simply put the book down for a couple of days before returning to it. I'm glad I read it. He raises some interesting challenges with the question of just how truthful we are--and how to be truthful without being harsh. I'm glad his editor gave him the assignment--I don't think I would have wanted to spend his year, but I'm glad to have been challenged by his experiences.
RamblingMother More than 1 year ago
Phil Calloway said yes which lead to a very funny book To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie. Calloway is a Christian humorist and no that is not an oxymoron as many people may think. This is the first book I have ever read by him and I have a laugh warning for you, don't read while drinking (coffee up the nose is not comfortable) and don't read where your LOL bursts might embarrass you or get you fired. I believe Calloway is a very brave man. This is a dare that though I would like to believe I always tell the truth about everything, we just completed a holiday that celebrated the birth the Savior of the world but left me telling fib upon fib about a dead St. who brings toys to children overnight. So yeah, truth telling challenges would not be for the faint of heart. Through his book, however, he demonstrated true spiritual growth because even his prayer time with the Father changed. He made a fine point that prayers where we say the opposite of how we feel is quite ridiculous since God knows your thoughts and heart anyway. I really enjoyed this book. I was able to read it quickly over two days both laughing and crying. If you have had a rough year or are facing a difficult new year, this book will not only lighten your load but will give you perspective. I know I will look at my own life much differently after reading his trip through the year of telling the truth. I received a free digital copy of this book. The opinions are 100% my own.
Johanna1124 More than 1 year ago
I was looking for my next book, and this book got my attention. I am happy it did! To be perfectly honest by Phil Callaway was a hilarious book. I couldn't stop laughing. My favorite part was how he described his mother. I loved it! I loved how he made the book so interesting with his humor. Without the humor it would just be a 365 day journal(blah). He does touch some personal topics, and was very honest on how he felt. I would recommend everyone to read this book. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah through Blogging for Books their book review program. These are my own opinions on this book.
Lilibet_King More than 1 year ago
What would you do if you had to tell the truth for the whole year? No laughing at jokes that you don¿t think are funny, even if your boss is the one telling them. No saying ¿I¿m fine, thanks¿ when inside your heart is breaking. No saying, ¿It¿s the perfect gift!¿ when your husband gives you a toaster or your wife gives you a tie. Could you do it? Could you tell the truth for an entire year? This was the challenge presented to humorist Phil Callaway by his editor. Phil took a vow to be truthful in all things, and kept a journal of his trials and triumphs during his year of truthfulness. The result is an off-beat look at why we say and do things in our culture that is often based on appearances rather than truth. Phil¿s first concern was that friends and family would want him to reveal secrets from the past, such as whether he had cheated at golf or illegally copied a video. Next he wondered if he could still tell jokes or if these would be considered lies. He quickly found that even a Christian who values ethics and integrity can have trouble discerning when to speak the truth and when to remain silent. For example, it may be true that your best friend needs to lose weight, but should you tell him or her this when they¿ve just been laid off from their job? Can the truth be told in a caring, non-judgmental manner? I enjoyed following Phil¿s year of truthfulness, and it gave me much to think about in my own life. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group Blogging for Books program for this review.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Phil Callaway in his new book, "To Be Perfectly Honest" published by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group shows us One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie. In The Bible we are told to not lie to one another. Paul makes it perfectly clear that there is no place in Heaven for liars, yet, we as a people, seem to lie all the time. We excuse this behavior because we told a little white lie. Yet, God sees every lie the same. What do we do? Phil Callaway was given the assignment to give up any lies for a whole year and write about the experience. Now this could turn out to be a really dry, weary march through 365 days but it turns out that, among other things, Mr. Callaway is also a comedian. So get ready to laugh. "To Be Perfectly Honest" is not a humor book so it won't be found in the humor section of the bookstore. It is a book of human behavior and about how much we need God to change the very nature in our lives. Telling a lie, any kind of lie, all goes back to Adam and Eve in The Garden and we need God's help even more today. Phil Callaway knows how to deliver truth that we can take because he provides it with lots of humor. Some of it is really funny, others not so but everywhere there is truth delivered in a subtle manner. I recommend this book and, if you are like me, you will find yourself in these pages somewhere and still laugh. If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 hours uninterrupted Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. 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."
TamiCPhT More than 1 year ago
Though it was not a laugh a minute type book, I loved the honest and the real struggle of this man's adventure of living a year lie-free. It was a true eye opener for him as well as me when I questioned if I would be able to make such a commitment to totally honest. In the end, I triumphed with the author on his becoming a better person for the effort.
abcarroll More than 1 year ago
A whole year of telling the truth...can it possibly be done, especially by a man that makes his living telling stories with just a bit of embellishment? Phil Callaway shows that it can be done, and it sometimes the truth is funnier than fiction. This book is humorous and thoughtful with some faith and spirituality thrown in. A very good, quick read.
cassiesands More than 1 year ago
While reading To Be Perfectly Honest, there were several times that I had to put it down from laughter! This book was an incredibly wonderful read. Laugh out loud funny and incredibly insightful. Phil Callaway has a remarkable way of making everyday situations funnier and more vibrant. The writing is wonderful, though a little basic and the humor witty wonderful and all around enjoyable. I recommend this book to anyone who likes the simple fun in everyday life or anyone looking to be a little more honest.
McDawg81 More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for a laugh, Phil Callaway's book, To Be Perfectly Honest, is just the ticket for you! The premise of his book came from his editor who wanted him to write a book about telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, for an entire year. Callaway writes in diary form about each day of the year making this an easy book to read at your leisure. About a month into this adventure, his friends decide to take advantage of his honesty and he starts getting pummeled with e mails: Day 31. Neil wanted to hear about my most embarrassing moment, and Nick wondered about my biggest fear.... (to Neil): I once deliberately frightened a man whom I thought was someone else. I awoke with a snort during a sermon...(pg. 19) Phil's journey of truth is really a fun read. Throughout the year, he is faced with the same temptations of the past, but now he has to confront these trials accompanied by his vow of truthfulness. He is tortured by the fact that his wife pays their tithes on the first Sunday of the month and each succeeding Sunday he is forced to watch the sneers (in his mind) of the ushers as he places nothing in the offering plate. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review 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."
Beth_Strand More than 1 year ago
Whoppers, fibs, little white lies..everyone tells them at some time or another. Some people would maintain that society would fall to pieces if we all told the honest truth! Phil Callaway takes his editor's challenge to spend an entire year telling the truth for a book and "To Be Perfectly Honest" is the delightful result! Within the first few pages, I was enjoying those "laugh-out-loud, Honey, you have to hear this" moments. Phil Callaway is witty, endearing, mischievous and funny. His pranks and smart remarks keep the narrative lively but he doesn't shy away from tackling some tough subjects. His year of living truthfully is not all smooth sailing and his struggles become common ground inviting the reader into his story. The best thing about this book is that Phil is not a "saintly" guy. He's the class clown, the guy who is just a little more "out there" than the rest of us and he's often the guy who says what the rest of us wish we could say. I can truthfully give "To Be Perfectly Honest" my highest recommendation. Would I lie to you? I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as part of their "Blogging for Books" program.
purplerose75 More than 1 year ago
How many lies do you tell every day? Yes, we're counting the "white" ones. Could you go an entire year without telling a lie? Neither could the author, but he made an effort. The results are quite as extreme as in the Jim Carrey movie "Liar, Liar", but they're pretty hilarious just the same. The real impact comes from the author's honesty with himself and his readers, although he does have some interesting experiences with friends and family. We get to read about his PacMan addiction, his email conversations with a spammer, and his obsession with Mormons. I'm not sure when I last read a book that made me laugh out loud (many times) and cry. I've never been entertained and convicted quite like this. "To Be Perfectly Honest" isn't just about telling those around us the truth. It's about trusting God and being honest with him and ourselves. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions are my own.
Counting-the-Cost More than 1 year ago
Author and speaker, Phil Callaway, took on a challenge few of us would have the courage to tackle: telling the honest truth in all circumstances for an entire year. In his humorous and witty style, Callaway sets out on his year-long journey determined to take on the behemoth of veracity, only to discover it's not as easy as he thought it would be. "To Be Perfectly Honest" is a 365-day journal of Callaway's hits and near-misses in his battle to speak the truth. Rather than simply being truthful about others' failings or flaws, he quickly finds out that the person he needs to be the most honest with is himself. As he progresses through his truth project, it becomes evident to him that an honest answer can cultivate a myriad of unexpected responses: Some people would prefer to hear a lie; the truth can hurt others as well as yourself; it can be viewed as sarcastic, critical, or judgmental; it could re-open old wounds, or actually heal them; and depending upon the recipient of the truth, it may reveal a different side of one's character that's not often seen. Callaway's wit and style of humor propels his readers through the book. Whether it's his imagined or actual encounters with his new-found honest approach, there's no shortage of laughter over his antics. But he also reveals a more poignant side of himself that will cause his readers to react with empathy and compassion. As he recalls his visits with his ailing mother, the trials of his close friends, his brief missionary trip where he rocked a small crippled child in his arms and wept, and his wayward, drug-addicted brother, Callaway has the ability to make his readers weep with him. Perhaps the most profound conclusion Phil Callaway discovered is that the challenge of being completely honest in every circumstance is something a struggling Christian is incapable of fulfilling without God's help. He ends his year-long journal with the understanding that being honest or dishonest is less about him and how others receive him, and more about how God views his own flaws and weaknesses. And with this new revelation, Callaway is determined "to extend the discipline on this truth vow another fifty years." I encourage everyone who has ever struggled to answer the hard questions with open honesty, or thought it would be a snap to do so, to read "To Be Perfectly Honest". Perhaps it's time we all took our own 365-day truth challenge. Like Phil Callaway discovered at the end of his journey, we may see it as a soul-searching, life-changing approach to a closer and better relationship with the God Who finds our little white lies, fibs, and whoppers a great offense. "To be perfectly honest," you won't be disappointed with this book.
Daniel23 More than 1 year ago
Phil Callaway in To Be Perfectly Honest documents a year of his life and his attempt to avoid lying. The book is a journal of his life for a year, day by day, in his attempt to live entirely truthfully. He records his daily happenings and feelings about the activities of his days. He is "honest" with his readers on his views of faith, relationships and Pac-Man. The journal is a chronicle of a year in which Callaway interacted with Christians and non-Christians, dealt with financial scams, and experienced the death of his mother. At the end of each chapter Callaway presents an honest confession based on his observations for the last month. The book concludes with a discussion guide for use with small groups. When I agreed to review this book, I was looking for something different than what I typically read. I honestly was trying to seek out a humorous book. And Callaway has plenty of amusing stories and observations, though I honestly, okay I'm going to use honest and truth as much as possible in this review, never had a full out belly laugh. Callaway is very truthful with his reader about how situations made him feel and his opinions on what occurred. He does not hide that he would rather be playing and reaching new high scores in Pac-Man instead of reading his Bible, as a good man of God should. He provides us honest impressions of his interactions with other Christians and how we have failed, he is a reformed Pharisee in his own words. So I do believe this is a very transparent reflection of a man of faith and provides us a window to Callaway's mind a man honestly seeking to follow Jesus. However, I don't believe it delivers as a summary of an experiment of truth. Callaway does mention his truth project, but he is not always 100% truthful. For example he has an email exchange with Nigerian scammers where he gives the impression that he wishes to participate in the scammers request. He provides an explanation of why this allowable, but he is not 100 percent truthful. Also when reading the summary of the book I was thinking of a text along the lines of A.J. Jacobs The Year of Living Biblically a book where Jacobs documents his own extreme social experiment. That book delivers due to Jacobs' review of what his year did to him. It's especially highly engaging since Jacobs is not a man of faith. Basically I was hoping there was a more in-depth explanation of what his experiment meant to him than the five pages provided from a position closer to my own worldview. I could have taken from this text the same lessons and reflections on a Christian life without the addition of a year of living in truth. And that's my honest take on this book. I wouldn't lie to you. Review Copy Provided by WaterBrook Multnomah