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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

on 23 April 2014
Christmas 2013 depression hit me, I have struggled for years with it but last year it was really bad. I felt I had to hide it, my paranoia told me if I told anyone I would be taken out of the ministries I help with, that I wasnt a good enough Christian if I was feeling this way.
When I finally spoke to some one she mentioned "getting through the fog", later that day my Kindle suggested "Faith in the Fog", obviously God wanted me to read this book!
Jeff Lucas has saved me from my fog, his book is God centred and made me laugh and cry. But it made me realise not to hide, that God doesn't want us to go alone.
If you are reading this and have gone through, going through or know some one with depression read it. Even if you have never had depression read it! It opened my eyes to so many issues, and is one of those books you just keep quoting to people.

I can't thank Jeff enough for writing this book, the whole time I was reading I felt like it was written just for me. It is one of those books I will read again and again :)
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VINE VOICEon 27 February 2014
Jeff Lucas is one of our premier Christian authors and a new book by him is always worth a look.

This book starts on holiday, a time that is less relaxing and more frustrating. We are there for a whirlwind tour of the so-called Holy Land. We are also left to imagine an enigmatic image of Lucas that we would really prefer not to!

Here we have our first understanding of Jeff’s inner angst, and perhaps we will allow ourselves a moment to realise that we too carry similar human feelings. Those of us who have been around church a while now, have also been tormented by similar words and deeds. Jeff’s skill here is not in exposing that, but in giving us a language to verbalise our journey and some balm to calm our raging fever. Lucas doesn’t criticise anyone else, or point the finger anywhere but at himself, but in doing so he brings a realisation that our pointing fingers should also take the same turn as his.

The book focus on Peter’s encounter with the risen Christ in John 21. Peter’s original fishy miracle resulted in his commissioning as an apostle, and this later incident renews that calling.

He talks about endurance but rather than rabidly preaching it with fist on pulpit, he allows it to sneak up on us and then nonchalantly mentions it in passing.

His Jesus is one who shows generosity at times of our meagre poverty, and we find healing in his words.

He writes revealing his own angst and inner battles, like the triumphant swimmer in the movie Gattaca, he holds nothing back for the return journey. You may see more of Jeff Lucas than you want, you may not find as many laughs per page as you have been used to (although, believe me, they are still there!) However, in the midst of the baggage of the well-known touring saint, you will find the scattered bones of an ordinary man that tell a story we all need to hear.

Some writers reveal hidden aspects of beauty in the characters which they write about. Lucas, shows us the souls of their feet, the dirty bits of the Montgolfier brothers, their inner darkness, and in equal measure sparks of light flying from the stony impacts on their flinty hearts.

A classic wordsmith. Every sentence has been crafted, polished and set in the correct surroundings.

Along the way you will learn much about worship, about love, about grace and about prayer.

This book will not leave you low, but reach out a strong arm to you, grasp your hand and pull you up. The final lines of the book are initially surprising but incredibly profound.

It is such a delight to read the words of someone who is well-developed theologically, who is not afraid to talk about the pachyderm in the room, and when he does he can manage it without drooling down one side of his face to our mutual embarrassment. If you read his last book ‘there are no strong people’ this will be a challenging follow-up, if this is your first venture into Lucasology, it will capture your imagination and leave you reaching out for more.

Order a couple, because you are bound to know someone else who needs to read it!
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on 29 November 2017
Excellent read
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on 10 September 2017
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on 24 July 2017
This book was interesting and easy to read. I found it very helpful.
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on 27 April 2014
Review written by my wife, Jeni.
This is an amazing book! I would say a must read for any Christian. Jeff Lucas is real, raw, transparent and very " normal" as he writes.
As I read this book, so much made sense to me and I personally identified with much of what he wrote. Although I have thankfully never suffered from depression, at least not " diagnosed", I have struggled for many of my 14 years as a Christian with the constant emotional ups and downs, usually resulting in guilt and self-condemnation that I would never be " good enough" and that I was never really " doing enough".
On pg 119, I totally identified with Jeff's over active conscience! I think to this day, sadly, I still question and monitor myself wondering if I am truly useful. And yes, I get the guilt thing as well! ( looks like my 28 years as a catholic are still trying to ruin my 14 years of being a Born Again Christian! )
A part of the book which utterly liberated me was when Jeff talked about the concept of being " in love" with Jesus. I am sure I am not the only one, but the inferiority complex I am left with when I "hang out" or worship with those who are clearly more in love with Jesus than me, has left a damaging impact on me. The reality and normality Jeff revealed with his description of not being in love with our children or friends was like a breath of fresh air to me! I am not inferior, not a " rubbish Christian", just normal and as Jeff says, hoping to love Jesus more every day.
I am like Peter! One moment on fire, making rushed verbal declarations, jumping out of the boat and the next moment doubting, scared, not quite denying Christ, but keeping my head down & not recognising Jesus.
This book is one if the best I have read because it has somehow unpacked our frailties as human beings, exposing the brutality of guilt and shame, but leaving us with hope that we don't have to have it "all together". We can still profess our faith and love Jesus, even in the fog!
Thank you Jeff. I know this will speak to far more people than me. Thank you for being real and in doing do, releasing me to be real too.
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on 5 June 2014
When I purchased Jeff's book a few weeks ago I did what many do with books...put it in my "plan to read" stack. There it has waited for the time when I would pick it up and actually take the dive within.

Yesterday was the day. I pulled it out in the morning, began reading, and didn't put it down until the afternoon when I had turned the last page (yes, including acknowledgements). This was quite unusual because I had a day of work in the office planned and some deadlines looming...but instead I found myself experiencing an impromptu day, one which took me on a journey that I never could have predicted.

While reading the book I believe I traveled through the full expanse of human emotion. At one moment I was belly laughing as a surprise insight into the hilarity of human behavior jumped out unexpectedly like a rabbit from behind the bush. The next moment I was weeping profusely as a truth of real life sunk into the deep and hidden recesses of my soul and unearthed the buried but subtly influential pains within. I realized that in those remote places lie the things that make us most human...the seemingly shattered dreams, the longings unfulfilled, the life script that seems to have gone awry. Tucked away out of sight are the hopes and aspirations that have been battered by the waves of time and reality and have been reshaped and reformed but are still attempting to stand. Multiple emotions in juxtaposition, overlaying yet not competing, expanding and deepening, yet not crushing. This is what I experienced in a bolus yesterday as I dove beneath the waves and not only took a look around, but engaged in the journey of "Faith in the Fog", allowing my heart to feel to the depths.

It was a cleansing and refreshing time for sure. It was also a time where the lingering questions came into full view. Can I trust God in the fog? Can I know that He is able to work even in the darkest of places when He seems so silent? Can I release the fear that my life would mimic the pier that just dropped off into nothingness at the end of the walk? It's crazy to reveal that even as a life-long believer the questions return and even persist. Yet it is in the vulnerability of humanity that I have found the greatest of freedoms. I have to know that it is the only place from which to minister.

I am thankful that Jeff wrote Faith in the Fog. I am thankful that he is not afraid to confront the party line or the status quo...the words and clichés that taunt and tease, the expectations and assumptions that leave one dangling on the cliff realizing that the rope you thought would take you to the summit is in fact only tied to a fragile tree eking out existence in the crack of the rock. I am thankful for the reminder that even in the fog there is a God who is present. He may be mysterious and He may not allow our questions to be answered. He may do things totally outside of our imagination or expectations. He usually does. But He is there. He is faithful. He can be trusted...even in the fog.
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on 17 August 2014
I've put off writing this review but in the wake of Robin Williams recent death, the struggles he faced in his life are the struggles that so many can identify within their own lives, I felt compelled to highlight Jeff's latest book. Struggles with family, relationships, depression, mental health and addictions are all too common in life. There are so many stigmas attached to all of these and for anyone who has faced any of these will be able to identify the feelings of loneliness, turmoil, pain, isolation and rejection that sadly so often goes alongside. Mostly because many people react out of lack of understanding, denial and fear towards those that struggle with these and similar related issues.

I had heard that Jeff was writing a new book and the title intrigued me. The book is inspiring and gets to the heart of so many tough issues that many Christians grapple with along the journey of faith. These include depression, health and anxieties. My journey certainly hasn't been an easy one and the book offered me a lot of encouragement. I also found Jeff's book refreshingly written with honesty, integrity and to the heart of real life issues. I have no hesitation in recommending this book which has a great pastoral message, can be used for devotional study, provides great insight into the leadership of Jesus and the journey of his followers. Peter is a character I am sure that many can identify with. Peter's journey is an Inspiring one and Jeff's writing offers immense hope for anyone who grapples with the issues that Peter faced and more importantly, overcame with God's help.

As well as loving technology, I still love the written version of being able to pick it up, put it down, re-read and flick through the pages. Whether you are new to the writings of Jeff or familiar with his hard hitting communication and refreshing way in which he gets his message across, this book is one for the book shelf. I intend to pick it up and read it again the future.

Thanks Jeff for the encouragement I know it will bring to many for years to come...
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on 16 April 2014
For those whom are used to books by Jeff, this is not the usual easy read, it is challenging. He is open and honest, putting his weaknesses, doubts and opinions out there. The book is focused around depression and shows that it can be completely natural to be depressed ... Even the disciples were on occasion.

There are things within the book I don't necessarily agree with, but that is down to my own experiences with God. Experience is always going to trump opinion, but on the whole it is a very good read which makes us think.

Will it be a book that withstands the tests of time, I don't know. But for this day and age it is very appropriate and it is quite a risky topic to write about as there are nutters out there that think depression only exists because of sin in peoples life or they don't have enough faith! Having had depression at university, due to being in debt I know that it is neither down to sin nor lack of faith that I had depression as

a) I had no concept of sin / faith as up until the age of 29 I was an atheist.
b) I came out of my depression before any repentance, yup I was still an atheist, still lived a life of sin and had no faith.

The following extract from the book is going to stick with me for a long time

'It would take more faith to walk away from faith than to remain in it. I hesitate saying that because I realize many people do not have the same stockpile of significant "God-moments" as I've had. Nevertheless it is true for me.'

Jeff thank you for this read, I feel like I know you more through it and if I am honest wanted to give you a big man hug after reading it.
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on 25 February 2014
“If you’ve been part of a church for more than six months and nobody in it or nothing about it has irritated you yet, then you’re probably clinically dead.”

Faith in the Fog by Jeff Lucas is an introductory commentary on John 21 which is easy to read yet gives the reader a lot to think about. Lucas has the remarkable ability to get inside my head and say the very things I often feel myself. This is more than a commentary or meditation on the famous post-resurrection breakfast at the end of John’s Gospel; it’s a criticism of the many erroneous views taken by the church worldwide which do nothing but condemn the average believer and leave them believing they are nothing but a failure.

As Lucas says:

“Why are so many Christians shame addicts, when the gospel is supposed to be
such good news of forgiveness and liberation? Why do we keep coming up with the same old clichés and slogans, which we dump on those who are suffering?”

Yet Lucas never preaches from the pulpit. In condemning the attitudes which turn people away from Christ he doesn’t end up condemning himself through hypocrisy. Instead, as Lucas does with all his books, he points the finger only at himself sharing his own mistakes, his own wrong thinking, his own failures. This is a book written by a man who is my equal, not my spiritual superior. He shares his own ‘fog’ moments – when his faith was just not there and he when he simply doesn’t know the answers:

“I have a thick “pending” file of questions still unanswered, doctrines that I haven’t abandoned but refuse to preach on because those issues remain unclear to me, still in the fog — and I won’t feign clarity about that which still lies in the mist.”

This humility underlies not just the author’s writing but every talk I’ve heard him give too. Lucas loves to share his screw-ups and does so wonderfully humorously. Faith in the Fog is no exception as he shares many tales of the scrapes he gets into. I giggled as he shared what should have been a deep spiritual experience in the holy land but ended up with an embarrassing incident involving his shorts. This is typical Lucas and I alternated between laughing out loud and nodding my head vigorously at the pages. As I read the book in bed my wife almost banished me to another room because I couldn’t read the book quietly without shouting “exactly!” or giggling like a school boy.

Lucas takes us through his own failures and shares those of others – such as Mother Teresa – to show us we’re not alone when we feel inadequate as believers. He offers fascinating insights and suggestions about the context of some of verses while never suggesting he has found ‘the answers’ which have eluded others. I don’t have to agree with everything this author says (and indeed I don’t) and Lucas doesn’t demand that of us. He speaks from the heart, with honesty and with clarity. The result is a helpful and thoughtful book which gives hope without trying to pretend all is, or should be, well.

An excellent introduction to a Gospel passage often passed over as, perhaps, a little odd and unknowable, Faith in the Fog is for anyone who feels an outsider at times in the church. This is not the moans and groans of a cynical church leader; instead Faith in the Fog, through bringing us back to Jesus and his relationship with Peter the ‘failure’ offers hope for the Christian who is struggling with the day-to-day reality of living in faith. A must-read for all who wonder, like Lucas, what happened to their first love for Christ and where to go from here.

You can find a longer critique of this book on my blog: [...]
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