In this latest inspirational work by Clark (Surrendered and Untamed, 2011), he asserts that a Christian’s relationship with God should be motivated by love, and not simply need.
The author, a singer/songwriter, pastor and parent, is passionate about his relationship with God, and it shines through on nearly every page of this well-written book. Using practical analogies, Clark finds life-lessons in a range of events, from his dad accidentally cutting his hand with a circular saw to his own grace-filled escape from a speeding ticket. The title refers to an 18th-century hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” which says that a Christian is “prone to wander.” Clark’s grandmother took exception to that verse; she insisted that because she loved God, she was actually not prone to wander. The author agrees, and refutes those who say that Christians should be desperate or needy for God. “While earth trades in the commodity of need, heaven operates in the revelation of love,” he writes. He insists on grace alone as the basis for a Christian’s relationship with Christ, and strongly disagrees with those who say that such grace can be abused. Grace is “not some license to sin,” he says, but “the license to drive.” However, he weakens his position by noting that grace comes with some “powerful expectations,” which could be interpreted as just another way of saying that grace can, in fact, be taken for granted or misused. This book won’t settle that debate, but it may contribute to thoughtful discussion about it. The prose sometimes comes across as self-consciously modern (Christians are termed “radical responders” and “radical sons and daughters”) and there are plenty of casual “yeahs” throughout (“Yeah, I’m a crier.”). The author might also have found a better example than his daughter’s potty training to make a spiritual point about “quality control.” Overall, however, his argument is often quite persuasive.
Fresh, engaging inspirational discussion, likely to challenge Christians young and old.