Monday, July 12, 2010

Book review: Cast of Characters by Max Lucado

The book? Cast of Characters by Max Lucado

The gist? Lucado walks through 22 chapters of stories of God using regular people. The subtitle, “Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God,” sums it up well. While it isn’t obvious from the introduction, though, the majority of the content isn’t new but rather regurgitated from 13 previous books (several which I read before I graduated high school).

My thoughts? Skip it. When Lucado retells biblical stories, he tries to make them hip and cool and relevant in a way that leaves me wondering if he thinks God’s words were somehow insufficient. I don’t like it when authors take liberties with the Bible (nor does God, according to Revelation). It’s just not necessary (or true) to portray Matthew as unwilling to share truth with his coworkers as he clears out his office to follow Christ or to describe the angel shutting the lion’s jaws as a fellow laughing in the corner in the lion’s den with Daniel. And while I do love puns, his were groan-worthy. (For example, when Jonah exits the fish, Lucado’s quips, “Which just goes to show that you can’t keep a good man down.” And he talks about David getting “a head of his giant.”). It did shine in some spots (such as the analogy of both physical birth and spiritual rebirth requiring “a capable parent, not an able infant”), but those were far too rare for me to recommend this book.

Oh, and the required disclaimer to stay legit with the Federal Trade Commission: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze program. The opinions I have expressed are my own (which probably goes without saying because this review probably won't be selling any books!).

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