Author, speaker and pastor Chip Ingram has worn many professional hats as a Christ follower. But no matter where he serves, there is a sense of urgency and passion about his work, message and compelling need to convince hurting people to trust God again (or for the first time). In this expansive resource, he expounds upon Romans 12 as the foundation for understanding and experiencing a daring faith walk with Christ. He writes in the Preface, "Life is short and your time is important."
From there, Ingram suggests that every reader ask themselves 4 Big Questions before delving into this material. If you are spiritually stuck, are tired of the spiritual status quo, long to discover who you really are, wish you could experience authentic community, or need a clear pathway to spiritual maturity, then LIVING ON THE EDGE is for you. On the flip side, this book is not for you if you are satisfied with your spiritual life, want a quick fix to your problems, dislike being spiritually challenged, or being spiritually mature is not a high priority.
Second, Ingram answers the question What is this book about? In short, he talks about how scripture explains what an authentic disciple of Jesus Christ really is and how to become one. He shares that this text will help believers learn how to give God what He wants most, how to get God's best for your life, how to come to grips with the real you, how to experience that genuine community with others, and how to overcome the evil aimed at you.
Next, Ingram tells his readers how LIVING ON THE EDGE will be different from others written on similar themes. Throughout every chapter of this practical handbook, he presents an actual profile of a specific discipline and a proven pathway to become more like Jesus as it is applied. This pathway is biblical, relational, grace-based, faith-focused, practical and measurable.
Finally, Ingram offers sound reasons as to why this book is being published now. He answers what Christ followers already know: today's Christianity is anemic; Christians are stuck; church programs aren't producing mature Christians; and sincere Christians have tried the quick fix gimmicks, leaving them performing and exhausted, feeling guilty and ashamed, imprisoned to false expectations, disappointed and disillusioned, and angry and bitter. In response, they frequently leave the church, give up on God, or go through the motions without any real sense of God's presence.
After thoughtfully contemplating the above, Ingram warmly invites his fellow Christians to begin a dynamic journey of discovery and rediscovery of God, faith and living as a disciple. Dissecting Romans 12 over and over again strengthens this text, as readers continue to see how imperative it is to fully grasp the intent and meaning of these verses (and apply them to everyday life). As Ingram encourages, every one of us must make a starting point. So if you're serious about knowing what the Bible says about living life as Jesus’ disciple, START HERE.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on December 29, 2009