I first heard of Keven DeYoung when I picked up “Why We’re Not Emergent” a couple of years back. He gave a well-reasoned theological approach to discerning the newest shade of liberalism sneaking into the church, while providing a witty prose to make the book all the more interesting.
Fast forward to December, when I stumbled across an opportunity to review books for Christianaudio.com. The deal goes like this: I get a free audiobook to review, as long as I post two per quarter on my blog. Not a bad deal, and since I review books anyways, it seemed like a good match. As such, this review will comment on both the book itself and the narrator, Adam Verner. More on him in a moment.
Just Do Something comes in a long-line of books responding to popular ideas in Christianity that really have no biblical basis. Your Jesus is Too Safe was another such book I’ve reviewed recently. Many of our Americanized conceptions of spiritual life have, quite frankly, damaged the cause of Christ and caused needless anxiety for His people. Keven addresses one such conception: the mystical idea of “God’s will” that many people, young and old, seek their entire life.
Whether it be a spouse, or a job, or a friend, or a possession, we think of God’s will as exceptionally specific in each and every situation. In fact, it’s our job to find God’s specific desire for us in each area, lest we be “outside God’s will.” Keven goes about dismantling these notions with biblical truth.
First, God’s will is sometimes displayed in the Bible with specific words towards specific people. But this is not normal, for us or them. In what was quite eye-opening for me, Keven shows how often biblical characters did what seemed wise at the time. Just check out Acts 15, and the several times that “seem” or “seemed” is used as the believers in Jerusalem try to discern God’s will. Keven shows a number of other times where this is the case in Scripture: where people did what was best according to the way of wisdom.
Second, this way of wisdom is found in the Scriptures. We are people of the Book, and we’re supposed to live the normal Christian life – a life of profound attachment to the Word of God. While not discounting what Keven calls “impressions” – subjective feelings – these should not be the primary way we discern God’s will. We discern God’s will by staying close to Him through the Word. A favorite saying of mine seems appropriate: find God’s will for today and you will find it for tomorrow.
Why is this true? Because God’s revealed will for the church is Christlikeness. So, Keven argues, if a girl catches a young man’s eye, he gets to know her, she is actually godly, and all counsel given to him affirms he should pursue that girl, trusting that as he does God will make His will known. The will of God for us is our sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3), and it’s improper to speak of God’s will apart from this.
The message of the book is freeing. Be wise about your decisions, pursue God first in everything, and then do what you want. Let God show His will through your desires. This isn’t a blank check to pursue every lust of your heart, but rather an exhortation to pursue after God first, and trust in His sovereign hand to guide you through your desires and choices to His will: your sanctification in and through who you marry, what car you buy, what career you choose, and where you settle down.
Adam Verner does a good job staying in tune with Keven’s words. I can actually imagine Keven himself writing just as Adam reads, with the dry wit, the weighty pauses, and the humorous anecdotes. He compliments the book well.