Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others
I chose this book to review because the title resonated with me. I admit I wasn’t familiar with the author, Steven Furtick, or of the multisite megachurch he leads in Charlotte, North Carolina. I also admit that I wouldn’t be drawn to attend a congregation titled Elevation Church or to Furtick’s flamboyant style, if I correctly read that in his prose. I just now note the verb in the book title, emphasizing crashing the chatterbox rather than listening to or tuning in the Spirit, which was more along the lines of what I was expecting. All that to say, I’m older and more traditional than Furtick’s market audience. Having said that, he’s written a helpful book that cuts to the core of the negative self-talk that pounds through the minds of most anyone, in any generation.
"Like the best authors of psycho-spiritual advice, Furtick makes himself vulnerable in personal anecdotes. He’s not preaching at his readers; he’s walking with them, admitting his impatience, frustration or pride, for instance."
Right up front, Furtick lays out his overriding framework, the meaning of his major section heads. In short, he relies on God’s presence and promises to cut through the misguided feelings of insecurity, fear, condemnation and discouragement that “the Enemy” plants in our minds. Most chapters include discussion of a biblical story, such as the Fall in Eden (where Satan was trying to confuse “our understanding of God’s instructions and intentions”); Jesus’ parable of the talents (the condemned servant listened to the irrational voice of fear); Elijah running from Jezebel; and Jesus’ wilderness temptation.
Like the best authors of psycho-spiritual advice, Furtick makes himself vulnerable in personal anecdotes. He’s not preaching at his readers; he’s walking with them, admitting his impatience, frustration or pride, for instance.
Chapter 13, “The Parable of the Passport,” ends the book on a delightfully positive note --- the power of gratitude as an overriding mindset: “Discouragement, condemnation, fear, and insecurity find no base of operation in the heart that is filled with praise and gratitude.”
That’s nearly but not exactly the end of the book. In a final “Conclusion: Pound the Ground,” Furtick admits that he hasn’t given a neat list of “Seven Power Principles to Crash That Chatterbox.” Rather, he tells the last recorded miracle in the life of the prophet Elisha --- a story he apparently intentionally left out of his previous book about Elisha (titled GREATER). Furtick’s final challenge is that we, like King Jehoash seeking Elisha’s counsel, should “keep pounding” --- pounding at the Enemy’s lies that tell us we are not good enough, worthy enough or strong enough to be loved by God and graced by and for His good purpose.
Reviewed by Evelyn Bence on March 24, 2014