Friday, November 11, 2011

Book Review: What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care? by Ed Welch

Ed Welch never talks at you. He talks to you.

I knew before I picked it up that What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care?: Answers to the Big Questions of Life would be a good read. Welch has already been proven a reliable guide on the topic of fear. His book Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest, an instant classic, continues to speak to me every time I open it. I give away copies left and right.

This book is aimed at younger people–ages fifteen to twenty-five. Not being in that bracket, it’s hard for me to judge how it comes across. But as I read it, I immediately thought of someone in that age range that I am sure it would help.

Welch’s style is truly conversational. Even though he is communicating a message about idolatrous worship, misplaced love, and our perverted fear of others, I never felt condemned or shamed or alone with a finger pointed in my face. Welch offers genuine hope for escaping the trap of needing the approval of others. He covers familiar ground from previous books but with a fresh and quotably succinct approach.

There is much wisdom here. Welch has a happy grasp on the gospel and has an ability to show the surprising implications of the gospel on our sinful messy lives.

Downsides? Just a few. First, the title doesn’t do a thing for me. I’m sure that it’s hard to top a title like When People Are Big and God Is Small, but this one doesn’t even come close. I’m not in the target range–maybe it speaks to younger people. On the other hand, the cover image is terrific! It has the ubiquitous digital camera aimed at the picture-taker! That says a thousand words.

Secondly, I don’t care for the formatting of the pages. There are a number of blank spaces with no explanation stuck in strange places throughout the chapters. Eventually, I decided that they were spaces for writing in, as each one is preceded by a question. Maybe it’s a kind of a workbook? It would help this reader if there were more visual clues as to why those big spaces are there. That’s a small thing but disruptive to the reader (and again, maybe younger people will like that–I’m a fuddy-duddy sometimes).

I could probably come up with other quibbles, but they would be just that–quibbles. This is good stuff, and I highly recommend it.

Thanks to New Growth Press for the complimentary review copy. It’s always good read a book that gets one into conversation with Ed Welch.

A trailer about the book which really gets at the subject matter: