Drat it all. Book Review: Free Book* by Brian Tome

In case you don’t know, I review books for Thomas Nelson Publishers. No, I don’t get paid – it’s something I do because I love to read, love differing points of view, love to look at my precious Lord from a different or fresh angle. I prayerfully select the books I’m going to read – not that I believe my reviews are that important, but because I want to know I’m reading the right book for me. Some selections have come easily and some have been a struggle. Some reads have been fast – leaving me wanting even more – and some have been slow yet satisfying. But so far, I’ve been able to find beauty in everything I’ve read.

Until now.

Drat it all. I was so looking forward to reading “Free Book” by Brian Tome. Being a renegade, the title intrigued me and the short description captured me. We all want to feel that amazing sense of liberty in Christ, and I’ve had it brush against my skin enough to know it’s real. But something’s wrong – and try as I might, I’m not sure what it is. The book is very methodical – one of the most “step-by-step” experiences in Christianity I’ve had in a long time. I could recommend the book based on that alone. And the book speaks of grace – not a grace to sin, but a rich and abiding grace in pressing in to God and His amazing liberty rather than strictly obeying rules and regulations.

Brian talks about living an unbalanced life. It resonates with me, given my diverse palette of passions which are all summed up in Jesus. He even talks about tattoos. Having one (which I received to commemorate a milestone birthday), there should be a built-in kinship.

So what is it about “Free Book” that’s bugging me? As much as I hate to admit it, it’s a style thing. A few weeks ago, I reviewed a book by an author named Chris Tomlinson. I likened him to a pesky little brother whose words pierce to the core. Brian Tome might be the one on the other end of that spectrum – the big brother who has the answer to everything. There is a “loudness” to his tone that goes beyond the 120-point type on the cover. The conversational style to his writing feels strongly one-way. Rather than inspired (as LifeChurch Pastor Craig Groeschel states in his recommendation of the book), I simply feel tired.

Drat it all.


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About Ronne Rock

Ronne Rock’s heart finds its strongest beat where beauty and pain collide – because hope always finds us in the shattered places. There’s more than 30 years of marketing and communications experience in her bones, and she finds great joy in sharing leadership wisdom as a regular contributor to Orange Leaders and QARA. But more often than not these days, she's with the vulnerable in difficult places around the world, gathering stories that change stories. Find Ronne's words in "For You, Love" the prayer journal that invites you to respond, and in Everbloom, a collection of stories from the Redbud Writers Guild. She is currently writing, "Building Eden: Principles of a Grace-Filled Leadership that Restores and Redeems." 

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