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Saturday, June 27, 2009

“Surrender All" by Joni Lamb

Joni Lamb’s “Surrender All: Your Answer to Living with Peace, Power & Purpose” is an interesting book. The whole basis is that readers need to surrender their lives wholeheartedly to God. As a television icon, Lamb accounts some of her own personal stories, albeit successful. She notes not selling her first television studio to rich and secular buyers, and she instead sold it for a lesser price to a religious buyer. Later, conversely, she sells another studio to NBC for a whopping $76 million. Readers are a bit abashed, but they are relieved when she later writes that she donated a percentage to charity. For those unaware of her show, they still understand what she is talking about. Readers that are wary of evangelic works are a bit skeptical when Lamb’s face dons the cover, making it akin to other famous books that have been said to be fallacious. Luckily, Lamb isn’t one of the evangelicals targeted in Hank Hanegraaff’s “Christianity in Crisis: Twenty-first Century.”

Throughout the book, many stories of woe and anguish persist. The trauma and terrible circumstances are accounted. In the end, happy endings are written. Many miracles and instances of divine intervention are told. While readers may still believe that the miracles and healings took place, it would be better for Lamb to insert some stories of disturbance that are not magically made perfect after prayer. After all, while it is wonderful for one to ask Jesus into their heart, suffering does have its place and may not end until heaven (hence the Beatitudes). Additionally, many stories are about friends of Lamb, but not many are of herself. The few that do tell of her minute pains end in extravagant blessings. Overall, Lamb’s book has a great message of surrender, but it is a bit sugarcoated.

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