Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book Review: The Power of Weakness

The Power of Weakness is the latest offering from Keith Giles and it was both a pleasure and encouragement to read. In a church culture that sees sickness and poverty and weakness as something to be avoided and prayed about, Keith takes us back to the Bible to demonstrate that God has always used people when they were at their worst or those who were least “qualified”.

The bulk of The Power of Weakness is an examination of the lives of a number of well-known figures from the Bible, men like Moses and Solomon and even Jesus Christ Himself, to show the glory of God in achieving great things through the weakness of man. After looking at the compelling evidence from the Bible, Keith turns to a more practical application, each and every individual Christian. If God can and has done great things through the weakness of men like Gideon and Paul, certainly He can and does through weak vessels like you and I. In a church culture that glorifies and exalts the most educated, smoothest speaking and best credentialed men, Keith reminds us that it is rarely the obvious (in our eyes) vessels that God works through.

As Keith points out, there is a reason that God glories in using the weakness of man to accomplish His great works, namely that it leaves no doubt in the mind of those who witness or read about these events as to where the honor and glory belong. It is not because of human talent or skill or intelligence but God alone who accomplishes His tasks. Along with the biographical examples, Keith points us again and again to Scripture to demonstrate his central thesis of God glorying in weakness. This message is not an unusual one in the church but it is one of the many cases where our rhetoric doesn’t match our practice. You might hear an awful lot about “not many wise” in the church but look at the guys called to lead and more often than not it is the man who is the best sermonizer or the most educated or the most successful in the community rather than the weak.

I would certainly recommend The Power of Weakness to anyone who is struggling with feeling adequate to serve God or those who are looking at taking the next step in ministry. It is a critical reminder that God doesn’t pick the best and brightest to do His work, He often picks just the opposite!

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