3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
All politicians running for office will win in the elections. All lotto players will get the top prize. No sick person will die. All sporting events will end in a draw. Each beauty pageant hopeful will go home with a crown. Every little boy will receive robots and toy guns for Christmas. All our enemies will slip on banana peels. These are only some of the events that would happen if God never says no to prayers. Instead of utopia, these events spell chaos. Logic tells us that God will have to say no some (or even most) of the time.
Chuck McLamore, in his book When God Says No, endeavors to empower the reader to understand and accept when God says no to fervent prayer. We who believe in God have been on our knees many times. We have received different answers: We rejoiced in the “yeses,” held out hope for the “waits,” and bewailed the “nos.” In the Foreword, the author states that the book will aid us to “prepare for, endure through, and respond to God’s no.”
McLamore has been working as an evangelist for more than seven years. He preaches, but is not preachy. He lays out the realities for those who believe in God: the creator, the giver, the end. Life is not going to be easy, but focusing on the glory of heaven and eventual union with God will give us the reason and strength to carry on, even when our prayers get the dreaded no.
McLamore uses many Bible verses to drive home his points, and I am awed by the appropriateness of the chosen verses. God indeed speaks through His Word. It is easy to appreciate the messages when you read them with your spiritual eyes. Each of the nine chapters has a central theme which is fully explored using the Bible and real-life situations.
The author touched me with his sincerity, simplicity, and openness. He uses everyday words. His examples are ordinary: a ballgame, grocery-shopping, and a forbidden office romance are some. He also admits to his own shortcomings and struggles; his unpretentious attitude allows the reader to connect with him.
The book would have been more effective without the many errors noted. There are grammar slips, mostly missing hyphens, compound words like “oftentimes” and “furthermore” written as two words, run-on sentences, and sentence fragments. The author does not use commas much, but I think this is intentional on his part. The more important mistakes are the incorrect Bible passages. On page 28, Genesis 22 should replace Genesis 21. On page 51, the passage ascribed to Matthew is actually from Mark. On page 61, the verses about Jesus praying in Gethsemane are incomplete. Luke’s version of the story of Peter and Malchus cited on page 65 does not name Peter.
Owing to the abovenamed mistakes, I give the book 3 out of 4 stars. I feel it doesn’t deserve less as its mission is accomplished. It is a book that Christians will appreciate for the truths it brings forth. We all know them, but reminders are always welcome. I do not think all Christians will be able to keep from being disappointed with God’s no all the time. But this book will surely point us in the right direction. In fact, if Christians can all live up to the lofty ideals of this book, not one of us will receive a no from God ever again.
When God Says No
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon