Monday, December 27, 2010

Sun Stand Still: A Review

Many people think that becoming a follower of Christ means that you have to leave behind everything fun and exciting that life has to offer and become a part of a boring, religious group of homebodies who get their kicks by talking about how everyone except them is messing up their lives and needs Jesus.  The Christian life is perceived as being nothing more than a schedule of rituals and a list of do's and don'ts.  Christians in general are satisfied with the status quo (rituals and rules) as the sum of our religion and we aren't inclined to seek out the miraculous power of Almighty God at work in the world around us, let alone through us.  Business as usual is the mantra, week in week out, same old same old until we go up into glory.

Stephen Furtick hopes to spur us on to something greater in his book Sun Stand Still.  In this work Stephen challenges all of us to ask God for the impossible.  We should not be satisfied with the mundane, ritualistic, and boring Christian religious events that we fill our weeks and months with.  We should be seeking to do great things for the glory of God by the power of God.  We can dream impossible dreams because nothing is impossible with God and know that He wants to do extraordinary things in and through us because He wants to display His greatness to all creation.  Stephen calls for something far beyond boring and mundane.  He calls us to the audacious faith that the God fearing men and women of scripture demonstrate for us.  To pray like Joshua for the sun to stand still in the sky until he could defeat his enemies.

The author gives numerous examples both from the scripture and from his own experiences that inspired me to seek the vision God has for my life and act on it.  He also did a good job of dealing with the tough issue of unanswered prayer and how these challenges to our faith don't mean that we weren't faithful enough or that God isn't great enough but instead reveals that God had something better in mind and we should continue to trust, especially when things don't go as we plan.  He paints God in a way that displays Him as the daddy who wants to give the whole world to His children if we would only ask.

What I disliked about the book is the over use of certain vocabulary and terms that he coined like "Sun Stand Still prayer", audacious faith, and page 23 vision.  I also was disappointed that Christ did not take more of a central position in his reasonings as to why God hears and answers our prayers and shapes the things we should be praying for.  Someone who enjoys reading Joel Osteen and the word of faith clan would really dig this book.  There is not alot of talk of man's sin condition and only a few light hints regarding our need of the power of God for salvation.  I know that this wasn't the subject matter for the book but I don't think we can skip through all the blood and death of Christ Jesus and jump to the right standing with God with new life and power.  He totally dropped the ball as far as providing a solid foundation for the audacious faith he calls for.  A stronger focus on the gospel would have greatly strengthened his encouragements to the saints and challenged those who already think of God as a cosmic slot machine.

I would recommend this book.  It has elevated my expectations for God to do what is impossible for me and rekindled my prayer life to ask for things I know only Almighty God can do.  I think we can all use that kind of encouragement.  As long as we are seeking to diplay Christ more fully to a dying world we can be sure that the Spirit of God will empower us for that work.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review


  1. Bobby,

    Thanks for the review. Lately, I've found several books that are marketed as promoting a 'radical' faith, actually only encourage 's little more of the same' faith. Is that what you found in this book?


  2. Alan,

    If by "the same faith" you mean faith as the Bible describes it then yes, this book has nothing to add. What he does is take what we refer to as faith (usually a set of doctrinal beliefs) and encourage us to make it visible. All to often our faith is no more than a casual reference to God's sovereignty and power. In Sun Stand Still we are exhorted to pray and act as though God is powerful and sovereign. This leads to radical results like we see in scripture and in the examples he gives in the book.

    Radical faith in practice should be something that brings glory to God as the world witnesses his work rather than something we have to explain in theological terms to help them understand it. When God acts according to our radical faith the world takes notice and says "truly there is a God and He is at work in our midst". This is not normal. Perhaps it should be because after all, according to scripture, it is more of the same. Sadly our words and works are normal on a human level but not normal on a level that undeniably reveals God at work in our lives.


As in a biblical church gathering, my word is not complete or final. Participation is allowed, encouraged and expected. Please, don't leave without adding something.