To be honest I went into reading this new book by MacDonald with a lot of baggage. There has been a lot of information come to life with how Harvest is doing, and how MacDonald has been leading. My prayer as I began to read this book was that I would not let that distract me from the heart of the book. I was able to read this book without being distracted by different things I had learned over the recent months. I believe that MacDonald should stick to writing books, more than anything he does. His book Authentic was a great book overall and I would recommend it to anyone who asks me about it.
I really enjoyed this entire book. MacDonald did a great job going through Matthew 23 and talking about the “7 Seven Habits of Highly Hypocritical People.” Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees because of how hypocritical they were. It was great to be able to work through each one of those and examine my own life, and make changes that need to happen. He digs into prayer and talks about if we are really supposed to be repeating, word for word, the Lord’s Prayer or was Jesus giving us an example of what we should be focusing on when we pray? He dives into a spiritual discipline that even I didn’t know a lot about before I read about it in his book, and that discipline is fasting. MacDonald breaks it down so that it does not seem like this monstrous thing to do. MacDonald also knocks out any misconceptions we have about fellowship. It seems the word “fellowship” is being abused and misused, and people are beginning to develop a false sense of what true fellowship is. James sets the record straight.
I really like the usage of scripture and how he made sure scripture was bolded so it stood out. Sometimes in books I find myself skipping over the scripture, but for some reason I read every word of it because it was bolded and stood out. I really appreciated the break-down of Matthew 23, the Lord’s Prayer, and fellowship. Overall I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought. James MacDonald is a great writer, and I think he should focus more on writing than anything else.
I did not like how often MacDonald referenced Harvest Bible Chapel. It seemed about half way through the book that there was a reference to his church almost every other page. I did not understand why he put in random facts about their church, like its 1 million square foot worship center, or how many people they have come out, or the fact that they have a part time ministry person keeping attendance of every person that attends. In the chapter about prayer I did not agree with the fact that we have to pray in Jesus’s name because we are already in Jesus Christ through salvation. I did not think it is necessary to finish our prayers, “in Jesus name, amen.” He just goes a little extreme about how to finish a prayer. I didn’t understand why they omitted a sentence about MacDonald’s tattoo on the back of the book. I didn’t understand why there was no one endorsing this book.
I really hope that God continues to bless James MacDonald and Harvest. I do also pray that he would answer some of his critics with clear answers and step up to the plate on some very serious theological issues concerning money and the Gospel.
I was given this book by Moody Publishers for the purpose of this review