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Better Off without Jesus Paperback – August 7, 2012
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We have all made foolish decisions by mistaking our feelings for God's leading. My friend Chuck does a great job of explaining the process of joining Scripture with the Spirit's leading in order to honor Christ in our decisions. This is a much needed tool in a time when so many lack discernment.
_Francis Chan, best selling author of Crazy Love
It took me forever to finish this book because I kept wanting to put it down to pray. Chuck's candid vulnerability alone will leave you disarmed and intrigued as he clearly and fervently calls you to a more passionate humble encounter with the Holy Spirit.
_Mike Donehey, lead singer of Tenth Avenue North
Chuck brings practical truth and insight to what is often a neglected or confusing part of the Christian life. I firmly believe if we would practice what Chuck writes about in this book our lives would be incredibly changed.
_Dan Kimball, author of They Like Jesus But Not The Church, and Pastor of Vintage Faith in Santa Cruz, CA.
How do you know what God is telling you to do? Sometimes we make it awkward or mysterious, but in Better Off Without Jesus Chuck Bomar makes it street-level practical by letting us into his own experience of trying to figure out the right next steps for situations in his life.
...helps many of us who never know what to say when someone tells us "God told me". Chuck brings the issues of spiritual living and biblical discernment into the adventure of living in the Kingdom in a way that moves people toward a deeper spirituality as they follow Jesus.
_Rick McKinley, This Beautiful Mess and Kingdom Called Desire --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Chuck Bomar is the pastor of Colossae Church in Portland, Oregon, and he is the founder of iampeople (www.iampeople.org) and CollegeLeader. He is the author of over a dozen resources and six books, including Better Off Without Jesus. Chuck and his wife, Barbara, have been married twelve years and have three beautiful daughters.
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* It is raw. What do I mean by that? Chuck is really open about his struggles and his past. I don't know about you, but that connects with me. He essentially takes you along his journey and allows you to understand the process by which the Holy Spirit leads him in. Chuck lives a transparent life and his book is no different.
* Offers a different perspective. As you can tell by the title he comes to the conclusion that it was best that Jesus left the earth. This is something that should empower God's people. Chuck helps us understand there is a bigger story than our own and not only has God invited us into it, but has equipped us through the giving of the Holy Spirit.
* Addresses a HUGE question. I work with college-age people everyday. The number one question I hear is "How do I know what direction God wants me to take?" That is what this book is all about. Chuck writes; "Hearing God is what this book is about helping you do. If I can help you become more confident in your ability to hear God's voice, this book is a success for me."
* Greatly misunderstood subject/person. We have tended to put the Holy Spirit on the Trinitarian "back-burner" if you will. The topic of the Holy Spirit can sometimes intimate us, because his role is so different. Chuck helps us understand the Holy Spirit's importance and causes us to embrace His role in our life.
* It is practical. Like most of you, I typically pick up a book wondering; "How can this book help me?" Chuck gives many practical questions you can ask yourself when trying to discern through hard and everyday decisions. He helps you see the importance of denying yourself and adopting faith as a spiritual discipline.
Overall, "Better Off without Jesus" not only challenged me with how I lead college-age people, but caused me to address how I approach making Godly choices. Honestly it has wreaked me in a couple of areas. The wonderful thing is, it wasn't so much Chuck's words as it was his understanding of Scripture that did so.
Throughout the book, the author shares certain questions he asks himself to make sure he's hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit; questions such as "Does this put me in a position of dependence on God?" I found those questions particularly helpful. As you read through this book, you'll want to keep a pen and paper handy, so you can take notes and write down much of the guidance provided. Also, due to the powerfully practical nature of this book, you'll want to read it slowly and savor all the wisdom contained within these pages.
Along with being very applicable, this book is challenging because it calls us to stop focusing on some far-off, distant future and to begin offering ourselves to God TODAY. We are challenged to stop thinking about what-ifs and starting looking for opportunities to embrace what we already know. But we are reminded that God has the heart of a Father and celebrates every step of progress we make, despite set-backs and failures on our part. As a seminary student, I found this refreshing, challenging, and comforting.
I would recommend this book to those who aren't sure what it looks like to live out the Gospel in their daily lives, who yearn to hear God's voice, who feel bogged down with head knowledge yet stagnant in their walk with God, or those who are wrestling with a big decision. The bottom line is that if we want to hear God's voice tomorrow, we need to start obeying what He's already told us for today.