Review of Authentic by James MacDonald

“The more we can be like Jesus, the more we will be living an authentic life.”  With these introductory words, James MacDonald begins to lay the foundation for a walk of sincere faith.  The walk consists of the disciplines of Bible study, prayer, fasting, fellowship, service, and worship.  Each fills its own chapter with each chapter beginning with MacDonald’s personal testimony.  One of the attractive elements of the book is MacDonald’s obvious willingness to allow his own life and walk to be examined for authenticity.  His willingness to be scrutinized helps to ensure that his points are accessible, removing any patronizing undertones that so often ruin books on sanctification and spiritual growth.

My main difficulty with the book is my failure to connect with the author.  Each of the chapters focuses more on the reasons we should engage in each of the disciplines.  The reasons often come in the form of “surveys” for what’s missing (what need would be fulfilled by the discipline) or people’s objections/obstacles.  While I agree with some of the observations and reasons, I finished each chapter still feeling unfulfilled.  In the end, I realized that my premise for sanctification may not align entirely with the author’s.  My own journey has led to an inflaming of the Spirit within me, which, in turn, has led me to desire to partake in each of these “disciplines.”  Like most believers, I faced obstacles in the actual exercise of them on a consistent basis.  However, I didn’t need to be convinced or given reasons why they’re valuable practices for a follow of Christ.  I had hoped for more ideas on overcoming the obstacles to walking “authentically” rather than more reasons why a certain practice is needed.

Overall, I would willingly share the book with others as there are many good points in the book.  While it was not what I looked for, I don’t deny that it will serve others well.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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