Sometimes a book providentially crosses one’s path at just the right time. I had that experience with Unshaken by Crawford W. Loritts, Jr. I have thought a lot lately about how to deepen my walk with Christ, and events both within the world and within the larger church have shaken me up more than I’d like to admit. It’s easy to put on a happy face and say that we have faith in God, but it can be hard in those private moments when we wonder where in God’s plan all of these crazy events fit.
Big questions, these. And Loritts explains faith and theology in a way that takes big concepts and makes them approachable for those of us not called to a seminary education. Best of all, Loritts not only explains, he reminds and encourages readers over and over again with biblical truths and promises.
So often, when I have heard messages about faith, they have veered too close to that “name it and claim it” realm that promises if one only believes enough, then what you wish will come to pass. And if you find yourself persecuted or in hardship, then you must not be believing hard enough. This philosophy proclaims shame upon those who doubt.
Over and over again, Loritts reminds readers of how this type of thinking leads to dangerous error. He begins by informing readers that “(O)ur journey in this life is about what God wants to do through our lives, not about our using God to accomplish our dreams.” Loritts makes clear that when we think about faith and about how things work between us and God, we need to remember that God controls, not we humans.
At one point, he stated, “We will never talk God into doing something that he does not want done. We can claim it, talk as if it has already happened, and make plans based upon our “positive” declaration, and be wrong the whole time.” That certainly made me sit back and take notice. And as I read over the examples from Scripture Loritt provides, using stories such as that of Gideon, I could not help but take comfort in the teachings I read here. Popular media too often gloms onto preachers and teachers whose theology lacks sure grounding in scripture and this book is a helpful antidote to some of what I have encountered elsewhere.
When Loritts speaks of doubt – that opposite of faith that plagues us all at times – he is reassuring but firm. He reassures readers that times of uncertainty can end up being a gift from the Lord, and that they can bring us closer to Him. He also reminds readers again and again throughout the book of the need to continually turn to God and to have that confidence in His sovereignty upon which faith is based. After all, stepping out in obedience to God is an important part of the faith journey.
The writing style is approachable and easy to digest without feeling overly simplistic. At times, the author suggests readers review certain Bible passages in conjunction with reading portions of this book, and I appreciated that. When reading theological books, we must continually check the author’s assertions against Scripture and I liked seeing this author explicitly reminding readers to do just that.
Many books on faith emphasize the good and happy parts, but this one contains both the shiny, happy truths and some of the harder one – like the reminder that this earth is not our home. This book is a good one to have on the shelf for those times when you’re feeling shaken or facing trials. Rating: 4 stars
Many thanks to Crossway Books for providing me with a review copy via Netgalley, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review.