Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mini Reviews: Unoffendable, #struggles

Unoffendable by Brant Hansen
Title: Unoffendable
Author: Brant Hansen
Genre: Religious Nonfiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: publisher

Not entitled to get angry? Really?
It’s a radical, provocative idea: We’re not entitled to get offended or stay angry. The idea of our own “righteous anger” is a myth. It is the number one problem in our societies today and, as Dallas Willard says, Christians have not been taught out of it.
As it turns out, giving up our “right” to be offended can be one of the most freeing, healthy, simplifying, relaxing, refreshing, stress-relieving, encouraging things we can do.
In Unoffendable readers will find something of immeasurable value—a concrete, practical way to live life with less stress. They’ll adjust their expectations to fit human nature and replace perpetual anger with refreshing humility and gratitude.
The book offers a unique viewpoint, challenging the idea that Christians can ever harbor “righteous anger” or that there evenis such a thing for believers.
Few other books exist with such a radical, provocative proposal to consider. We have no right to anger. We are to get rid of it, period. Completely. And it is possible to choose to be “unoffendable.”
Through the author’s winsome, humorous, and conversational style, this book doesn’t add another thing to do on a stressed-out person’s ever-growing list. Better, it actually seeks to lift religious burdens from readers’ backs and allow them to experience the joy of gratitude, perhaps for the first time, every single day of their lives.

I loved listening to Brant Hansen on the radio, so when I heard he was coming out with a book, of course I had to have it. And I think this book perfectly encompassed what one has come to expect from Brant: willing to talk about the hard things in an honest and blunt way, but still with humor and good will.

The book is short and sweet and to the point. I don't think anyone would find the subject matter terribly hard to understand. But I think one look at into society, at even just the political climate of today, shows that is book is very necessary. He brings up things in new ways, and frames them to make you rethink what you were taught.

Like I said, I don't think this idea is super hard or revolutionary. But it does bring up the question of why have we, in this American Christian culture, gotten so far away from this idea. Brant keeps this simple, lightened up with his own anecdotes and humor, yet isn't afraid to get deep and spiritual with us. I think this is a very important book that I wish I could shove on most of the Christians I know.

This review can also be found on   Goodreads

#struggles by Craig Groeschel
Title: #struggles
Author: Craig Groeschel
Genre: Religious Nonfiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: publisher

We all love the benefits of technology and social media, but even with the incredible upsides, many of us suspect there are unintended negative consequences that are beyond our control. We’ve lost perspective, even perhaps ourselves.
In this timely and life-changing new book, New York Times bestselling author and pastor of LifeChurch.tv Craig Groeschel encourages readers who are hungry to regain control over their lives and put Christ first again. He walks them through biblical values that all Christ followers know are essential, but are even more important for our maxed out, selfie-centered world.
The more you compare, the less satisfied you are. The more we interact online, the more we crave face to face intimacy, but the harder it is to find. The more filtered our lives become, the more challenging it is to be authentic. The more information about the pain in the world we’re exposed to the more difficult it is to care.
It’s time to refresh and rediscover our understanding of the biblical principles that life with Christ brings: contentment, intimacy, authenticity, compassion, rest and more. Groeschel taps in to some of the most up-to-date studies on the effects of social media on our emotions and our friendships. And he offers real-life examples of how we struggle with social media, how it masks our real struggles, and how we can reclaim a Christ-centered life.
With helpful appendices like the 10 Commandments of Using Social Media to Strengthen Your Faith, and Creating Safeguards for Your Digital Devices, you’ll find #Struggles to be just the guide to bring balance and real-life engagement to your everyday life.

I was a bit wary of this one, to be honest. There are enough people/pastors/books out there telling us how technology has made us worse, the dangers of it, etc. That said, I was impressed with this one and how the author chose to go about it. I felt the book was very thorough, and came from a very Biblical perspective.

Groeschel comes at this from a perspective of someone who also struggles, and understands the need for technology. It isn't all bad, but there comes a point when we need to realize our own personal boundaries.

Everything is broken down simply, so it's not hard to understand. But it is deep, and hard-hitting. No matter your level of social media use/addiction--even if it's none--you will find something in this that will speak to you. Groeschel even outlines ways to help yourself, and get help if you need it.

I think this book is very relevant in this day and age, as it will relate to everyone. They may not be things we want to hear, but they are definitely things we need to hear. I personally thought I was pretty good at handling social media, but this book has shown me that I still have things to work on. It's one of those books that is important for everyone.

This review can also be found on   Goodreads