Book Review: Unstuck by Arnie Cole and Michael Ross

Unstuck: Your Life. God's Design. Real Change.I received this book much too long ago. I started out reading it quickly; it is interesting, mixing research and anecdotes with Scripture to form an interesting read. However, the deeper I got in, the longer it seemed to take to read. And I don’t mean this in a negative way. I mean it in the best possible way for a Bible Study book. Some things simply cannot be read quickly. Some things need to be chewed on, contemplated. This is one such book.

The authors believe that an intimate relationship with God’s Word is the only way to have a thriving faith-life. I agree. I’ve been taught that throughout my Lutheran upbringing. So why did I find this book so helpful, if I already knew their main point? (I did find it helpful. Incredibly so, in fact.)

I don’t remember ever having been given an actual, practical way to read my Bible. Aside from just being told to read it. It may be that I was given further instruction, but it is likely that I was not paying attention, due to distraction, immaturity, or some combination. This book does that, though. The more I read of it (and I have not yet finished it; I decided that enough was enough and I needed to get this review done. If I change my mind about the book by the time I reach the end, I will update my review.), the more I am convinced of the importance of the Word in our lives as God’s children and followers of Christ. I may not agree with some of the terms they use for the conversion experience, but there are several things that I absolutely love about Unstuck.

First of all, they don’t shy away from calling people sinners. Too much of modern theology does that. “If you try hard, do your best, it’ll be ok.” Untrue! We can’t ever do enough to be ok. We will never do enough to be right before God. Thanks be to Him for His mercy shown in Jesus Christ, who has done enough to pay for our sins.

Secondly, they contend that none of our human experiences can really help us. It’s God’s Word that does the working in our lives, that can make changes in us. I love that! What a relief that it isn’t on me!

Finally, the book leads us on a path to “engaging” the Bible, to allowing God to work through this means of grace. He has promised to be present in His Word. How are we to receive this if we aren’t reading that Word?

Of course, I come from a Lutheran background, so reading the book from that perspective does find some flaws in the theology. But with a grain of salt, the book is really helpful in leading a person to reading the Bible and recognising how it all points to Christ and works in our lives.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Unstuck by Arnie Cole and Michael Ross

  1. Just realized that I never replied to this. It's both daily reading and topical. Each chapter deals with a topic, moving from showing the need for daily Bible-engagement through the ways that it helps us to ultimately giving a model for reading. At the end of each chapter, it offers daily passages, with questions to consider, for a total of 45 days of reading (if I remember correctly).

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  2. I love a book that teaches us the Word is life! I wish I realized this when I was so much younger. Does the book encourage daily reading and contemplation, is it more topical? I'll have to check it out. I remember you mentioning it more than once. I'm also happy you didn't disregard it because of the conversion language. I totally know what you mean, but I think it would do us Lutherans some good to consider that we too had a conversion, no matter how young- we were once dead, and are alive! So let's live that way! 🙂

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