When I got an email from Bethany House and saw that the book Jesus: Pure & Simple by Wayne Cordeiro was on their review list, I didn’t hesitate to offer my review. I had never heard of this author before, but the description of the book sounded like just the thing I needed to read right now.
Wayne Cordeiro shares how to focus on the One who matters most and take part in the joy and fulfillment that He brings. But he also teaches how this leads to selflessness, a true love for others, and effective ministry. It will, in fact, change how you see the world around you.
When you focus on Christ, everything else falls into place. Your relationships. Your job. Your church. Your mission. It’s all placed in the hands of Jesus, pure and simple.
As soon as the book arrived, I dove right in.
The introduction alone, or rather the first sentence of the introduction immediately convicted me. It convicted me that “It’s time to get back to Jesus.”
It’s time to get back to Jesus. That seemed to be the theme for the first several chapters, and as I read, I whispered a lot of “Amens” and did a lot of head nodding. In these chapters, the author discusses what distracts us from Jesus and draws us away from Him, how we can so many times fall just short of Jesus, how we constantly need to correct back to Jesus (and also not overshoot Him), how we need to remember who we are and what we are here for, how to live in this world without becoming of this world, and how to continually shift our focus onto Him. These were all things I needed to hear and I found these chapters very refreshing for me.
As I continued to read, the focus of the book seemed to change to how we should bring others to Christ. The book didn’t seem to flow as well as in the beginning; it became a bit confusing, and in my opinion, not so simple. The author goes on to discuss what we should and shouldn’t be doing in order to have a pure and simple devotion to Christ and to bring others to Him (which is ironic, because on the inside flap of the book is says, “And the good news is that it’s not about doing more or doing less”). The author devotes a whole chapter about performing acts of hidden service, but I feel the whole book was laced with way too many “success” and “service” stories of the author’s; there was way too much Wayne in this book, and not enough Jesus, in my opinion. The author did refer to many different scriptures and bible stories throughout the book; I just don’t feel that many of them were relevant to the topic at hand or the point he was trying to get across.
As I finished up the book, I felt that the author redirected the book back to the original message of getting back to Jesus and how we are the ones that need to make changes because Jesus never changes.
Overall, I feel the author could have gotten his message (or at least the message I thought the book was about according to its description) across using half the number of pages than he did (the book is 200 pages). The book was definitely a good reminder of where our focus needs to be, with an unfortunate lull in the middle of the book.
Next time I feel that “It’s time to get back to Jesus,” I will pick up my Bible – pure & simple.
* I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own.