Book Review: Sky Jethani's WITH

Let me start out by saying, I LOVED Skye Jethani’s book The Divine Commodity. I thought it was smart, elegant, practical, important—everything a book should be. With, his follow-up effort, is not as good. But it’s good. Very good.

With focuses on five potential ways of relating to God. Jethani suggests that most church people are living FOR, FROM, OVER, or UNDER God instead of WITH God (the proposed ideal). Jethani devotes a chapter to each of the unhealthy prepositions before spending four chapters working through what it looks like to live with God. 

The strongest chapters by far are those dedicated to the four failing approaches. If you’d asked before I read the book, I’d have thought living under God, from God and for God were all excellent ways of relating to the Father. After reading Jethani’s insightful commentary, I’ve changed my mind.

Living from God puts too much emphasis on material blessings that may or may not come.

Living under God suggests that adherence to rules will protect us from a dangerous world, and it won’t.

Living for God, I’m convinced, can elevate the mission of God above even God Himself, causing us to work for a Being we don’t necessarily know or love.

There must be a better way to see the Christian life.

I had high hopes for with God.

However, as Jethani explains how a life lived with God might look, he struggles to articulate it clearly and concretely, so that by the end I felt confident in the pre-eminence of the with posture and unsure of how I might embody it.

This book is a valuable resource for the local church and the church worldwide as we attempt to communicate the spirit and truth of the Gospel. Jethani offers what I think is an excellent, accurate picture of what it looks like (and does not look like) to live as God’s child. If only he’d been slightly more practical in the application.

Read the book. Then we can all pow wow about application.