Saturday, October 8, 2011

The God Pocket by Bruce Wilkinson [Review]

         The God Pocket is a short inspirational centered around challenging people to give willingly to God and allow Him to move them to give their allotted offering to a specific person, according to His timing. The book flows nicely, and is an easy read. It thoroughly and systematically challenges the reader to try this "ready to give, willing to share" principal.

         Although this is a good, well written, thought provoking book, it wasn't until I hit the sixth chapter that I began having concerns for the theology and motivations presented. Throughout the sixth chapter I felt like Wilkinson was trying to sell the idea of giving to God, so that He would lead us to give to someone in need. I felt like he kept emphasizing -- and made it sound like, to me -- God would for sure and certain return the tangible money back to us, which I'm not sure is necessarily correct. Sure, for some He will and has done so. But perhaps for some people He saves the "return", or the blessing, for you to enjoy in heaven. Or maybe sometimes He blesses us in a different way, in an intangible way, or in some way other than hard cash.

         Another point Wilkinson brought up earlier in the book (chapter 2) was the last of seven steps to prepare people to deliver God Pockets: "Step 7. Disciple. Disciple the person by encouraging them to deliver God Pockets too."
         At first, when I saw the "disciple", I'm like, yes! Then, as I finished reading the section, I was more along the lines of...what? Shouldn't our first and foremost concern, as followers of Jesus, be to share the gift of salvation with the individual? I felt like the book was leading up to this great opportunity to witness to people, but it all fell through the cracks when instead of taking the opportunity, it encourages us to push off this idea onto more people. It's fine to share the concept of the God Pocket and get more people involved, but I felt like the focus was off from our first and foremost Commission of witnessing.

         One last thing I wanted to point out. It seemed that pretty much all the illustration stories used in The God Pocket had almost immediate, visible results, with recipients that were then totally willing to pour themselves out and share how the gift had affected them. I don't think that necessarily always happens. And what if it doesn't to someone starting out on this challenge? What if this new God Pocket deliverer didn't get the opportunity or change to see immediate -- or even any -- results at all? What if they never see the people they share with again, never get to hear how it affected their lives? This could be extremely disappointing as well as discouraging when from the start, the challenge has been painted to have relatively immediate results.

         Though a thought provoking book, The God Pocket did seem to have a few cracks in it. I'm glad to hear of the success it has had, but I can't help but wonder if it is painting a picture that may not be true for everyone.

         I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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