Just at a time when I was a little over midway through a study of Ephesians, I received the opportunity to review Honestly: Getting Real about Jesus and Our Messy Lives, a book described as “riffs on the major themes of Ephesians.” I knew that it would be great to get a new perspective on my study using this book!
In this book, author Daniel Fusco unpacks Ephesians in thematic way, instead of the traditional verse-by-verse method, creating four parts (or chapters) to this book. These are acknowledgment (of our messy lives), resolution (of our lives by Jesus), pursuance (of intimacy with God), and psalm (mostly discussing love). Although the author apologizes at the beginning of the book to those of us who prefer a more linear arrangement, this thematic arrangement is one that works well. As a linear person, however, I do have to comment that additional additions might be improved by an indexing of Ephesians passages with their chapter sections in the back of the book to make discussions of certain parts of Ephesians come to life.
The author’s life is relatable and his tone is warm and informal. The examples from his life are well done and the advice that Fusco gives is Biblically sound. There are many things in this book that I needed to hear, such as, the idea that issues precede miracles and the idea that when I pray I often want the benefits that I’m asking for without the costs associated in the asking. I’ve always in my core wanted to be a more patient person, and yet the trials that create patience are not something that I’ve wanted, and something that I’ve often declined going through. Fusco gives some stern pastoral advice.
The one thing that I truly dislike about this book is Fusco’s continual reliance on the Message paraphrase translation. I detest paraphrase translations and the current trend in Christian living books to use the Message is one that I find alarming. I have to rate this book down a little just on his choice to do that, but otherwise, I find this book to be a great message of both encouragement and Biblical advice.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.