For today's entry, David Sorrell concludes his look at Steven Furtick's Sun Stand Still.
Chapter 15: Permission to Pray Practically
Not much can be said about this chapter, since it’s three pages long, but a few things could stand to be said.
Remember at the beginning when I said that one of the problems of the book was that Furtick’s prayers were too small? This is what it looks like: he reiterates the list of things earlier in the book as practical things to pray for, and reiterates that God has no problem changing impossible things in our lives, and while this is true, there is a certain short-sightedness to it: the one truly impossible thing for us is that we can’t pay for our own sin. Everything else he mentions is both possible, and in most cases, completely unrelated from divine providence. And this leads to one of the more serious flaws in the book: it offers nothing to those who think they have everything they need, whose lives are storybook perfect, and as a result think that they do not need God. This is why ‘life change’ is not the gospel. Sure, life change is good. God answering big prayer is good. But it’s not the Gospel. Elevation’s motto is “That those far from God will find new life in Christ;” which is otherwise admirable except that they have nothing to offer those who don’t consider themselves far from God or in need of new life in Christ…which is something that a more robust Christian worldview can address.
Chapter 16 is Furtick talking about himself. Again.
Chapter 17 is little more than a commoditization of faith that gets rather close to word-faith territory; Furtick returns to the text of Joshua and finds something else to turn into a principle to live by. Unfortunately, he gets a bit close to legalism as well by way of quoting James 2:17 and saying, “And most of the time, if you don’t move, God won’t move. That’s just the way he designed faith to work.” As usual, there’s a grain of truth: and he does rightly say that prayer can easily turn into wishful thinking.
But was the purpose of the Joshua 10 miracle to teach us a new way to pray? It’s doubtful. Exegetical hoops practice could have prevented this from happening.
Everything else from here on out to the end of the book is pep talk. There’s just not a lot to say about it other than that it suffers from all the flaws pointed out earlier.
Overall review: Not worth it
Recommended reading instead: Honor, Patronage, Kinship, and Purity by David DeSilva