Monday, June 15, 2009

Book Review: Eyes Wide Open by Jud Wilhite

Eyes Wide Open

Eyes Wide Open
by Jud Wilhite
with Bill Taaffe

Trade Paperback: 189 pages
Publisher: Multnomah Books
First Released: 2009

Source: Review copy from publisher

Back Cover Description:
I had it all backwards.

The main thing was not my love for God, but his love for me. And from that love I respond to God as one deeply flawed, yet loved. I’m not looking to prove my worth. I’m not searching for acceptance. I’m living out of the worth God already declares I have. I’m embracing his view of me and in the process discovering the person he created me to be.

In Eyes Wide Open, Jud Wilhite invites you to discover the real you. Not the you who pretends to be perfect to satisfy everyone’s expectations. Not the you who always feels guilty before God. Not the you who secretly feels God forgives everyone else but only tolerates you. Not the you who looks in the mirror and sees a failure. The real you, loved and forgiven by God, living out of your identity in Christ.

A travel guide through real spirituality from one incomplete person to another, Eyes Wide Open is a book of stories about following God in the messes of life, about broken pasts and our lifelong need for grace. It is a book about seeing ourselves and God with new eyes–eyes wide open to a God of love.

Eyes Wide Open is a non-fiction book categorized as Christian Living. It is well-written and very easy to read and understand. It uses examples from the Bible and from the author's life (and that of people he knows) with the focus more on the modern examples. The author quotes scripture to back up his points, and the book is Biblically correct.

I love that the book says, "The main thing was not my love for God, but his love for me." So true, and it's what ChristFocus Book Club is all about. I'm even willing to make this a book that ChristFocus members read together if there's interest. However, the information in this book is covered in other ChristFocus Book Club books that I've already selected. Those books dig deeper into the scripture to explore how God sees and loves us.

Jud Whihite makes one statement I don't agree with. He states that we've lost the culture war. However, he then goes on to give an example of one person making a difference politically in the local laws. I agree that the example he gives is how we ought to be "waging" the culture war, but in my mind that's what it's always really been--personally caring about and making a difference in individual peoples lives.

Eyes Wide Open is a great, basic book for all Christians. I'd recommend this book to anyone who doesn't already deep-down rejoice in the statement "the main thing was not my love for God, but his love for me....I’m not looking to prove my worth. I’m not searching for acceptance. I’m living out of the worth God already declares I have." I'd also recommend this book for young adults and adults who are new Christians.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Introduction
I've been on a journey of God-discovery and self-discovery for the past twenty years as a follower of Jesus. Eyes Wide Open began as I sat down with my journal and reflected on the most transforming principles that helped me move from being broken and hurting, with a distorted view of God and myself, to healing and growing as the real me.

As I've taught these principles to thousands of people, I've been humbled by the response. Some of the most "together" people I know have admitted to going though incredible struggles to accept God's grace, to see themselves with their new identity in Christ, and to make an impact in the world as a result of that. One of the greatest joys of my life has been to see them look at God and themselves with new eyes, freed to discover the person God designed them to be.

....let me give you some glimpses of what you can expect.

-Wide open to God. Part 1 of this book looks at how God sees us and explores the awesome dimensions of His love and grace. We'll be internalize what it means to see God as a loving Father who is for us and has bound Himself to us by a spiritual agreement. Receiving His uncensored grace frees us to become the person He desires.

-Wide open to identity. Part 2 looks at the new identity the Bible declares we have. In the Christian community, we focus a lot on practical expressions of faith, such as prayer or service, but not enough on our position "in Christ" from which these practical expressions flow. So here we'll see how important our new identity is and discover that we are chosen and hidden in Christ. We'll learn the power of seeing ourselves as a priest, saint, and servant now, even if we don't always act as such.

-Wide open to change. Part 3 looks at how we come to express our new identity in everyday life. No matter where we're starting from, we can morph into the person God desires. ...we will more fully become the unique creation God made us to be.

-Wide open to influence. Part 4 looks at the importance of fulfilling the role in the world that God calls us to. We aren't fully ourselves until we are making the impact God desires for us to make. By embracing His view of us and living out of that, we can affect culture for the good and bring a little heaven to earth.

Read chapter one.

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