I've never known a Christian who hasn't had the experience of being stuck in their relationship with God, sometimes over and over again. That is exactly why the premise of Unstuck piqued my interest. I've felt distance between the Lord and me, I've felt a wall of silence and separation sometimes, and I've felt stuck in a place of vague discontent with where we are together as Father and child.
I hoped to find answers to the questions they proposed and opened the book with anticipation. Unstuck is like a diamond mine, you know there are sparkling jewels of great beauty in there, but you have to dig to find them. Basically, the authors explain that if you feel a lack of closeness and intimacy in your relationship with God you need to "engage" the Bible. I found the concept of engaging the Bible confusing. What exactly is that? I eventually unearthed the definition of Bible engagement, but not until I was halfway through the book.
Words such as "notional," "relatable," and "relational" are used extensively. I find them vague and unspecific and frequently found myself asking, "What are the authors really trying to say?"
The use of real-life examples of people in "stuck" spiritual situations was a helpful device because their struggles are familiar and I was eager to discover how they became "unstuck." There were also a few "Ah ha" moments when I encountered one of the diamond thoughts worth holding onto and treasuring.
Additionally, the book can be used as a 45-day study. There are questions with scripture references at the end of each chapter, as well as statistical information the authors gathered after surveying thousands of Christians while acquiring data for Unstuck. An online resource can be accessed that provides additional information on growing your relationship with God.
Would I recommend Unstuck? Conditionally. It had beneficial guidance for developing a deep and meaningful relationship with God, but it is not a book that requires close reading. Skimming the book, with occasional pauses for slow, close reading when you discover a diamond, would suffice.
Unstuck: Your Life. God's Design. Real Change by Arnie Cole and Michael Ross
Bethany House Publishers, 2012
Christian Life, 265 pages
Bethany House Publishers provided a free copy of Unstuck for review. The opinions stated are my own.