Live Long, Finish Strong: The Divine Secret to Living Healthy, Happy, and Healed
Gloria and Ken Copeland are well-known television evangelists and charismatic Bible teachers who are also founders of Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Fort Worth, Texas. As a prolific author, Gloria Copeland is clearly passionate about this newest endeavor on aging strong and living long. Her enthusiasm for the topic is contagious, and readers will open the first chapter eager to read about how they, too, can experience long, healthy lives.
Readers will enjoy Copeland's history lesson offered from the Bible where she poses the question, "How old is Bible old?" With today's life expectancy of 77.8 years, Copeland notes that in 1960 the life expectancy of persons in the U.S. was only 69.7 years. Her point? That according to the Bible, when God created Adam and Eve, He designed their bodies to live forever. Enter in the curse, and men and women now had to contend with illness, suffering, decay and eventual death. Still, Copeland lists the many biblical characters who lived well past their six score and seven years.
Noting that some Christians today believe these aged ancients flourished because it was still pre-flood history, Copeland begs to differ by listing Noah's age (600 years) and those of his post-flood descendents. She then offers Christ followers countless biblical promises for health and blessings. Truly, there is a cause and effect relationship from her standpoint, and at each chapter's close, she lists takeaway points in her “Points to Remember” section.
Readers will learn more about setting their sights on living 120 years (or more); asking why we can't live this long; how to protect your fountain of youth; a surefire way to die young (by doing things your own way); the ultimate guide to longevity; imbibing those spiritual antioxidants (the Fruit of the Spirit); grabbing hold of God's healing promises; the live-long style of faith; and living fully until that divine departure. Every chapter is full of stories of real people who have lived long following the guidelines offered above. Copeland also offers readers a brief prayer focusing on each chapter's particular subject area along with Scripture verses and a Confession (of faith to believe).
While Copeland's text is sincere and full of faith and promises (as well as being an emotional shot in the arm for people who have given up on life), there exists a real disjoint between claiming health and long life, and healing and life's reality. Depending upon each reader's theological interpretation of suffering and sickness (and its place in developing strong, solid men and women of faith), Copeland's work will not sit well in many camps. And yet, what to do with all those beautiful promises of health, longevity and wellness found throughout scripture? Certainly, there's more to this than "name it and claim it."
Reviewed by Michele Howe on May 10, 2010