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Read It! - December 2017

December 9, 2017 0 comments

Thom S. Rainer, I Will: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian Nashville: B&H Pub-lishing Group, 2015, 198 pp. $10.48

“I want hymns in the worship service.” “I want sermons that are practical and tug on my emotional apron strings.” “I want a slick youth program.” “I want the worship team to dress up.” “I want a quarterly business meeting.” “I want, I want, I want.” This is the lament of many twenty-first century Christians. It is a cry that has been informed by our consumer-based culture. It is a inward cry that makes a plea on the basis of personal preference.

That is the subject of Thom Rainer’s excellent little book, I Will: None Traits of the Outward-ly Focused Christian. Rainer contrasts the inward pleas above with a response that is out-ward. Instead of “I want,” he urges Christians to begin with “I will.” “It is about learning how to have complete joy in your service through your church,” Rainer writes. “It is about be-coming a fully functioning member of the body.

The author argues that right attitudes (“I am”) lead to right actions (“I will”). “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than your-selves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4, ESV). Readers are therefore encouraged to commit to the following right ac-tions:
1. I Will Move From “I Am” to “I Will”
2. I Will Worship With Others
3. I Will Grow With Others
4. I Will Serve
5. I Will Go
6. I Will Give Generously
7. I Will Not Be a Church Dropout
8. I Will Avoid the Traps of Churchianity
9. I Will Make a Difference
There is nothing original here - just biblical admonition for Christ-followers who desire to make a maximum impact with their lives to the glory of God. Readers who are troubled by Rainer’s challenges should look deeply at their own motives and their commitment to the local church.

Personally, I was deeply encouraged by Rainer’s timely book. I Will is a reminder that a self-focused approach to Christianity will only do harm and discourage the household of faith. The nine traits that Rainer advances will serve the church well and prompt spiritual growth among the faithful flock of God.

Thom S. Rainer, I Will: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian Nashville: B&H Pub-lishing Group, 2015, 198 pp. $10.48


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