Free Book!

That’s the title of a rather provocative book by Brian Tome. As this is my first read of Tome’s I was a bit skeptical as to where he was going with spiritual freedom. There are some that would argue total freedom to live life as far away from the commands of Scripture as possible because God promises to forgive our sins! I was greatly relieved when this was not the direction Tome headed. Instead, he writes a very refreshing and thoughtful book encouraging his readers to experience the freedom to enjoy Jesus.

Tome dives in to tackle some of the prickliest questions that trip-up both Christians and non-Christians. Are you afraid? No need to be – Jesus is the Freedom Giver! Are you stuck in a dead-end  performance-based religion? Tome calls for the death of empty religion. He challenges us to experience and give forgiveness, to break the strongholds that have us imprisoned, and the live an un-balanced life! That’s right, an un-balanced life because balanced lives are predictable and boring and rarely achieve greatness.

Tome presents a process that can help produce freedom in the individual believer that starts with the Blahs, moves on to the Break, the Blues, and finally the Blessing. It’s an interesting process that could be very helpful in giving people a framework for understanding what’s going on in their lives as they make the attempt to break free from dead religious practices and/or lives that are stuck in a rut of sin. This section is worth the price of the book. I would encourage you to read and re-read it (Chpt 10).

Tome writes: You and I are free. We are not in bondage to figure out the one thing God wants us to do. Every decision before us is not a pass/fail test. If we go through life thinking there is a definitive right and wrong for every decision (or that pain will come our way if we choose the wrong decision – either through bad outcomes or God rapping us on the knuckles), we will go through life with fear and trepidation. We probably won’t get very far. However, if we view good options as possibilities that we’re free to choose, life becomes more adventuresome and less burdensome. (p. 162)

The one area where I disagreed with Tome was on p. 188 where he described the success of the modern-day Jeep to the design decision to change to round headlights because it “subliminally tapped into the the idea of a horse’s head and round eyes…” I think it had more to do with the inclusion of the classic army Jeep with it’s round headlights. Jeep’s didn’t have rectangular headlights – they were round. The return to this design was genius but not because of something so esoteric.

I think Free Book would make a great book for anyone who has lived in a repressive religious culture. It’s also a refreshing read for anyone who serves in the church and has been pushed toward living in the shackles of fear rather than the bright light of freedom.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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