I had read another of Steven Furticks books and thoroughly enjoyed it. At that time I was not one to question context as in taking a verse out of context. However, now that I am learning more about context, it seems to pop out in all I read.
Overall this book, (UN)Qualified, is an easy read, full of interesting stories, and a lot of honesty on the authors part. For a major portion of the book he talks about our third word. I am… Stating that our third word is a direct reflection on how we view our God and that when we make these I am statements it is actually blasphemy. I agreed with this for a good part of it. I can understand that by calling myself ugly, worthless, or unimportant it can reflect my Creator. As I am supposed to reflect Him. With these as my third words I am basically saying the Lord messed up and made me wrong. I can see this. But not the second part of his statement on blasphemy.
The part I initially got excited about was the whole idea that God’s name is “I AM”. That when we put anything negative after our “I am” we are using the Lord’s name in vain. At first this made sense and then I dug deeper. What Steven Furtick is implying with this is a stretch, to me. There is a big difference between I AM and I am. I in no way feel I am on equal ground with God and His name is all capitols in the Bible. My I am is never all capitols, with good reason, I am not as mighty as my God. I am not my Creator.
“Remember, God’s name is I AM. So anytime we take his name and fill in the third word with things that are contradictory to what God says about us, we are taking his name in vain.”
He goes on about “Jesus is the I AM. God is the I AM. Therefore Jesus is God.” I agree with this statement 100% no question. Then a few pages later he states this. “But here’s what’s sobering, a lot of us come to the point of making a correct theological assertion about who Jesus is without ever making the connection between who he is and who we are now in him.” This is where the slope gets slippery. Yes, God is in us via the Holy Spirit. I have access to His strength, His gifts, and given His eternal life. But when I make an I am statement, according to my interpretation of Steven Furtick’s writing, I am making myself equal to God. I am good, I am beautiful, I am fun, etc. My I am and God’s I AM are equal to each other, according to Furtick.
(UN)Qualified lives up to its name in regard to theological correctness. Again, in my view. I am not a scholar by any means. I learn as I go just like most people. I would only recommend this book to those that have a very discerning eye and will question things with those they trust. I was all excited about this segment in this book and then I ran it by someone in Seminary. He is learning all about context. After his explanation I went back and read the whole section again. I was highly disappointed that I saw his point and agreed with it. Disappointed because I would have run with Steven Furtick’s interpretation and may have led others on a different path away from the true meaning. There is only one I AM and I am not it.
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.