Thursday, February 10, 2011

book review: plan B

Title: Plan B: what do youo do when God doesn't show up the way you thought he would?
Author: Pete Wilson, lead pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville Tennessee
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, 2009

Pete Wilson in this book, tackles one of the toughest questions we face in life: "What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you thought He would?"

Pete handles the discussion of this subject in an honest and personal way. Rather than offering a "paint by numbers", or "easy believism" approach to overcoming adversity, Pete candidly shares some of his own "Plan B" experiences as well as the doubts and desperation he felt in the midst of them.

This is one of the books, that has lots of "sound bites" or at least the written version of them. Here are some that stuck out to me.
  • We get ourselves into all kinds of trouble when we assume God must think and feel as we do
  • ...deep hurt and shattered dreams have a way of blinding us to the character and beauty of God.
  • Every one of us faces a barrier that is keeping us from the life God has for us
  •'s as much about the person we're becoming as it is about where we're going.
  • [The cross is] the place where the pain of "you will have trouble" meets the triumph of "I have defeated the world."
  • You've got to stop looking at your shattered dreams and your unmet expectations as something God is doing to you... He might be doing something in you.
  • When you are in a Plan B, you need community more than ever. And yet, because of the pain that comes along with a Plan B, it's easy to miss the God-given gift of community.  
  • One of the things I believe God is teaching me in my life these days is that at times we want our dreams more than we want God. We want what God does for us instead of just God.
  • And I think for those of us in the midst of a Plan B we'll discover that one of our idols all along has been a picture of the way life should be be. Our idol was an expectation or a dream.
  • It's possible, in other words, that part of the reason you feel so shattered and so broken in the midst of your Plan B situations is that you gave your love and devotion to your plans and dreams instead of God.
If you are looking for a deep, abstract, theological treatse on the subject, this is not the book for you. But if you or someone you know has had dreams shattered, experienced deep disappointment, this may be the book for you.

Pete writes out of the combination of experience and a pastor's heart. It would have been easy to write a book that described 10 steps toward victory, overcoming, or finding the  perfect will of God for life. Instead, Plan B, discusses how to keep living, how to keep breathing, how to have hope when life simply hasn't turned out. He writes: "When people ask me how they can know God's will for their lives, I tell them the best first step is to know God. Beyond that, I really don't have any steps."

My main criticism of the book, is that while I appreciate how Pete approached the subject, there are places where I felt he could of moved into a push to move beyond self and come alongside the other in the midst of their brokenness and suffering, a push that the church today so desperately and constantly needs. But that may be more a statement of where I am at in my journey to reshape ministry focus.

The book includes some good questions at the back for small group discussion or further personal reflection.

A complementary copy of this book was provided for review
through Thomas Nelson’s Booksneeze Program

No comments: