You Can Change
By Tim Chester
The danger in Christian books about change is the bogeyman of legalism. Some of the “classic” Christian literature is nothing more than a manifesto of Do’s and Don’t’s that have nothing to do with the Bible, much less Jesus. Tim Chester does not avoid these familiar pitfalls: half of his work is a brilliant call to holiness while the other half is counterintuitive to his own goals. It makes for a frustrating read that at times connects deeply but often succumbs to being another screaming manifesto. Overall though, the Tim Chester’s work, despite its “self-help” vibe, does call to a boldness in our ownership of sanctification.
First the negatives. Tim Chester, who can be a good writer, writes this book in a clinical, abrupt, academic form that never really “breathes” like one human being speaking to another. For a work of this sort, it makes for a dull read that smears together like a textbook. It’s as if Chester included all the necessary doctrine so that no one would fault him for being shallow. The result, perhaps unexpectedly, is a bunch of fluff that is neither interesting nor practical.