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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Book Review: At Work Within

Author: Rick Osborne
Publisher: Impartation Idea, Inc., 2016
Genre: Christian living, Discipleship

First Lines: “It’s often said that a good teacher tells you what he/she is going to teach you, then teaches you, and finally tells you what you’ve just been taught. So I want to start by clearly telling you where I’m planning on taking you with this book.”

Goodreads Description:

God saw you and determined to make you into His image and likeness long before you were born. His vision for you and your life is so amazing, it’s beyond your imagining. What if you could be that person now? Well, you can be. God sent His Son to make you a new creation and to transform you into His own image. The Bible shows you how and Jesus will personally take you there. If you want more of God and His vision and plan for you, this book is for you. That’s a big promise! We gave the first 1,000 copies of this book away and simply asked people that if it changed their life to pay it forward and give copies of this book to others. Now it’s your turn. Read. Change. Share.

My Review:

Sometimes it takes me a while to get through a book and that was the case with this one. In part it was because the subject matter was so important, the ideas so deep. Maybe I question my ability to follow through on the material. Whatever the case, my apologies to the author.

The subtitle of this book is “Be transformed into all God created you to be”. Osborne uses the device of dreams to frame each chapter. That is to say, he begins the chapter with a dream relevant to its contents, and concludes the dream at the end. Sandwiched between are his thoughts on how the dream relates to one of “seven truths of transformation.”

  • Truth 1: The goal of your salvation is transformation into His image
  • Truth 2: Jesus wants to transform you personally by discipling you from within
  • Truth 3: You can be transformed from within because Jesus gave you His righteousness and He empowers you by His grace
  • Truth 4: Everything you need to be transformed from within has been supplied but it won’t happen by itself; you need to receive it and walk in it by faith.
  • Truth 5: Jesus redeemed everything about you so that your transformation could be successful and complete
  •  Truth 6: Having your mind renewed with God’s Word is an essential part of your transformation
  • Truth 7: Knowing what the Spirit taught about prayer through James, John, and Paul will help you pray through your transformation

The author’s ultimate goal is that believers begin to grow spiritually from the point of their acceptance of salvation and that we know and understand how to effectively disciple others. It is not just the job of our church and ministry leaders to fulfill the great commission; it is every believer’s job.

Osborne uses a conversational style that is very effective in communicating his ideas. The book would have been much more difficult and off-putting for the average reader had he used a more academic approach. I liked the use of dreams to present information, but was less satisfied with the way they were broken up in the chapter. Often I read the beginning, skipped to the end, and went back to read the content sandwiched between.

A beautiful part of this book is that you don’t have to take what Rick says as gospel truth (even though Jesus was his teacher). Scriptures to back up his thoughts are peppered throughout so you can do your own homework and verification.

My favourite chapters were the last three where the author discusses redemption, the renewing of one’s mind through God’s Word, and the power of prayer in the transformation process. I was less enthused by the conclusion of each chapter which offered “Quotes for Sharing on Social Media.” It seemed contrived to promote the book and in my view patronized the reader. I like to do my own highlighting, thank you very much, and I’m capable of selecting my own quotes to share on Facebook, Goodreads, or Twitter.

In his conclusion, Osborne encourages us to re-read the book and look up the scriptures cited for ourselves, as well as to set up “transformation groups,” where we can discuss the book’s ideas with others and grow disciples. These suggestions are valuable and I certainly plan to re-read the book myself. Transformation doesn’t happen in an instant and getting certain principles in our minds is crucial to their application.

Bottom line? I highly recommend this book to those who wish to deepen their Christian faith and make disciples for Jesus.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Please note that I received this book in exchange for my honest review through the Book Crash book review program.

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