Friday, August 19, 2011

It's All In the Prepositions: A Book Review of With

When I read the tag line to With (Reimaging the Way You Relate To God), I knew that I wanted to read it. Jethani's premise is simple: there are five ways of relating to God--under, over, from, for, and with. These are not just Christian ways of relating to God for, as Jethani demonstrates, all religions or non-religions relate in one of these ways. He begins his book with a look at what happened with people's relationships with God "After the Fall" (ch 1). The next four chapters examine each of the other prepositions (under, over, from, and for) in detail. Then for the latter half of the book he discusses "life with God", using 1 Corinthians 13 as a model.

I liked this book and read about half of it in one sitting. Jethani does a great job of keeping his readers engaged through illustrations (literally drawings) and stories. The writing is as readable as Max Lucado or Donald Miller, but the thoughts are deeper. There were a few times that I thought he could have said what he was saying with fewer words. "Yeah, yeah. I get it already." But overall I found this book to be highly readable, learned, and useful for Christians or not-yet-Christians. If you are one of those people that is looking for a quick-fix or how-to book, this is not the book for you. With is more about changing your perseption of relating to God, than it is about how to do it. Jethani does offer some suggestions in the appendix, though, and I for one am glad I read appendix A. Overall, I give it 4 stars.