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Navigating a God-Centred Life
by Colin S. Smith
Publisher:Christian Focus Publications
The first thing to be said about this little offering is that it is a book about a much misguided pastor, written by a pastor. Colin Smith is Senior Pastor of the Evangelical Free Church in Chicago, and once you understand this you begin to see the parallels and the comfort that Colin must be taking from Jonah's life. Of course, this book is best read in conjunction with Jonah - and when I felt called to read Jonah, I was surprised to find that it's only 4 chapters. That's because Colin undertakes a thorough examining of Jonah's life, from the beginning when the prophet is a happily settled preacher in Nineveh. Colin explains that Jonah wallows in self-pity and refuses to answer God's call. He loved Nineveh; but it was no longer a love from God - Jonah had put Nineveh before God, and was extremely unhappy to do God's call and preach against his beloved city; hence, of course, Jonah, unable to pray to the God that he was so angry with, ran away on a ship. Colin doesn't only focus on Jonah's life though; he puts in personal excerpts from the lives of friends of his, some of whom, like Jonah, were too settled in their positions to answer God's call. Colin also points out that, as Jonah was saved by grace so that he could go on answering his call, so can we be. I found this book both challenging and well-written. It's also laced with some quite heavy theology in parts, but do bear with it. Colin's excellent exploration of Jonah's story could help save your life, too.
Reviewer: Alice Collins (02/06/12)