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Failure to ignite
on 8 September 2007
I came to this book about a month after reading Run Baby Run, the classic insirational story of the authour's early life and conversion to Christianity. The publishers clearly intended to capitalise on this association and the cover of the two books are very similair.
Unforunatey this book has none of the narrative flow or charm of Run Bay Run.
To be frank; this book is a mess.
Having finished it and reflected on it for some time I still haven't got a clue what it's supposed to be about. The title and back cover claim that it's a statement about God's Holy Spirit. But as a reader I felt this book was a directionless collection of anecdotes. The stories Nicky Cruz tells here span the decades he has been involved in Christian ministry but aren't related in any kind of order, either thematically or chronologically. Each chapter felt to me like a free association exercise.
I don't wish to be disrespectful to Nicky Cruz, or the organisation that he leads. Some of the stories that he tells here are interesting and insiteful, some are inspiring. But other episodes read as arrogant and some seem designed to make readers feel guiltly for a lack of faith on their own part. Still others make little sense at all. Here's my favourite example from the book:
"Have you ever wondered why a pig won't look you in the face?
It's because it knows that it's mother is a fat ugly pig.
Now satan too is a fat pig because of Jesus Christ"
I would like to applaud Nicky Cruz and his team for the work they do and I am prepared to believe that this book may have suffered in the move from the USA to the UK and perhaps the American audience was able to make better sense of it. But I advise other British readers to avoid this book.
There are plenty of coherent and inspirational books on Christianity, but for me this isn't one of them.
If you're looking for something that will put a spring in your step I recommend Rob Bell's Sex God or Neil Anderson's Victory Over the Darkness.