Luis Palau is an evangelist, and this is an evangelistic book. The thrust of it is that faith in Jesus is not just something that can be added on to a life, but is something that fundamentally changes it. He directs his writing at various kinds of people who have not made a life-changing commitment to Jesus: skeptics, people who feel that going to church periodically and calling themselves Christians is enough, people who are outwardly successful but inwardly unfulfilled, the addicted, the unloved, the burned-out, the hopeless. To each of those people (and more), he says that the good news of Jesus transforms lives by bringing about personal and social change and bringing beauty from ashes.
Palau (and his co-author, Jay Fordice) tells the stories of many people whom he has met in his years as an evangelist, and this makes the book easy and interesting to read. I have read several books over the years that lay out the good news of Jesus, and aside from the stories of how faith in Jesus has changed people, this book had nothing new to say. As far as I’m concerned, that is a point in the book’s favor. After all, the gospel message is not new. The way in which it impacts each life makes for wonderful stories, though, and I appreciated Palau’s emphasis on telling personal stories. If I had a criticism of this book, it is that the stories could gloss over the struggles of living the Christian life. I realize that Palau wanted to emphasize the change that faith in Jesus brings, but if that is the only thing people hear, they may feel that their struggles in growth are unnatural and become discouraged.
I received a review copy of this book from Tyndale House. I was not asked to give a positive review.