Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Review: "Skin in the Game"

Skin in the Game by Rick Lawrence is a short book but a difficult read. If I had to tell you in one sentence what it’s about, I’m not sure I could. I do know that skin in the game is taking a risk and that Lawrence wants us to understand that walking with Jesus involves risk; that stepping out in faith is not playing life safe.

Lawrence’s message is confusing, though, because he uses a lot of analogies. Analogies usually help to clear things up and bring understanding, but Lawrence used analogies to explain analogies to explain analogies until I was so busy trying to grasp how they all related to each other that I lost track of why. I got totally lost in one chapter, trying to understand the analogies, until I realized that I already understood the familiar concept he was trying to explain and, therefore, didn’t need to understand the analogies. It was a relief to move on.

Lawrence also had a common habit of using Bible stories to make his points (as opposed to pulling his points from the Bible stories themselves). He would even add little bits to them in order to tweak their message to make them better fit his. There were several times when I set the book aside in order to go read the Bible story he was citing because I knew it didn’t say what he said it did. The little bits that he added (or, in one case, removed) don’t seem significant, but Lawrence only added them to make them “prove” his points. I’m not saying that Lawrence’s points were bad or wrong. He had a lot of good things to say. But he misused Bible stories in order to say those things (which makes all of his analogies suspect).

Finally, Lawrence seemed to think he could read Jesus’ mind, telling readers what Jesus was thinking, what His motives were, as He interacted with different people. But Jesus’ thoughts and motives are pure speculation. Lawrence presented what he thought Jesus was thinking as biblical fact.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this honest review. The book's not one that I can recommend.

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