Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book Review: Out of a Far Country

"You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder!"

Out of a Far Country is about a son who tries to go his own way, following hard after the things that he thinks will bring him joy and satisfaction, only to discover that they do not bring lasting joy. He writes:

"The interesting thing was, even when I was selling drugs, I believed in God. But it was my own idea of God. In prison, after reading the Bible, I came across James 1:19 (NASB), which said, "Demons also believe, and shudder." I realized that simply believing was not enough..." (pg. 183).

Christopher's journey takes us to the fork in the road that we all face every day; either we can choose to live for ourselves and the things that we think that we can't live without (which the Bible calls idolatry) or we can choose to live for God, obeying Him and trusting that He is all that we need. Through Christopher's journey, Out of a Far Country touches on hard issues that affect us all and it does so in a way that is Biblically faithful.

Out of a Far Country is also about a mom who is being transformed away from self-righteousness to putting on Christ's righteousness.  As God opened her eyes to her own brokenness and need for forgiveness, she realized that her son's rebellion was really no different than her own sins (pg. 72).

The truth is that we all fail to put God first every day. We all find ourselves in Christopher and/or Angela's shoes regularly. We're all tempted to rebel and go our own way or to trust in the good that we do to save us. However, both of those options fail to recognize that putting our trust in Jesus, who lived the perfect life we should have lived and died the death that we should have died, is the only way to be saved. Trusting in Jesus is also the only way to experience power to walk in newness of life.

I found Out of a Far Country easy to read and liked the way that mother and son alternated sharing parts of their story. I appreciated the tactful way that various mature subjects were handled, without going into too much detail. The Yuan's story is a testimony of God's faithfulness to redeem  people for Himself. It's a story for prodigals and those who love them. It's a story of compassion, love, acceptance, learning to listen, and persisting in prayer.

Click here if you would like to read a sample chapter or watch the promotional video for this book.
*“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.”

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