Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review: The Power of Together: Discover the Christian Life You’ve Been Missing by Jim Putnam



Review: The Power of Together: Discover the Christian Life You’ve Been Missing
Jim Putnam
2016
Baker Books

I wish I had gotten an e-version of this book instead of the print version.  Why?  To see how many hits I would get on the word relationship.  This book delves into that topic from several angles attempting to encourage the reader to become more involved in forming genuine relationships.  Those of us that are older may remember the word friendship.  The real sort, not the sort established on social media with the touch of an icon.   That’s what Putnam feels is missing in the Christian life.  That’s what he spends 245 pages trying to explain, illustrate, model, or extol.  He has diagnosed a major deficiency in current life for many inside and outside the church.  
The Power of Together: Discover the Christian Life You've Been Missing 
So what is the solution to the problem?  Happily, he offers some suggestions that should be obvious by the time he gets to the end of his book.  “We must develop, maintain, and champion close relationships with other believers---It’s the means to maturity and it’s maturity itself.” (227)  After listing some of the usual objections that start with “Yeah, but…”  he writes this.  “I’m not asking you to change your church.  I’m only asking you to change one person---yourself.” (228).  By this point in the book the reader has an idea what he means by that, so it’s no surprise ending.  Nor is it the quick fix most of us would’ve liked to hear.  

The book makes several good arguments, but for me the author and his editors belabored the point to the point of exhaustion.  By the end of it I had learned to cringe every time I saw the word relationship or any of its related forms.  And to be honest I think there’s another term that covers what this book is about, but isn’t as trendy---love.  The biblical version that Jesus modeled.  

This book just didn’t make the grade for me, but I guess for some that want to be in a relationship it would be a place to start. 

I received this book from the publisher in return for a review.

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