I have been reading Love Does by Bob Goff. I started reading it while a vision for a ministry opportunity came to me. So many times in the past, these visions have flickered and faded away. Ideas have to take shape and that takes time. However, I didn’t get that an idea taking shape is like working with clay. You have to work with it, mold it, and shape it. Its an active process and not a passive one. So, I didn’t want this idea to flicker out so I picked up the book, talked to trusted friends, read the Bible, and spent quite a bit of time in prayer.
That was the start. Over the journey with Bob (having read about 90 percent of his book now, I’m pretty sure he is the type of guy that would rather be called “Bob” instead of “Mr. Goff” or “Goff”), I have found that some of the things he has written have kind of irked me the wrong way. That’s okay. There is a difference between Christians writing books about their relationship and adventures with Jesus as opposed to Christians writing books to preach Jesus to people. Love Does isn’t a preaching book. It’s an adventure book.
I know preaching can be an adventure too, but there is a definite difference between trying to explain the intricacies of faith through theology and trying to do it through stories. There’s Biblical examples of both. Jesus told a lot of stories. Paul wrote a lot of letters referencing old scripture as well as using logic. Bob tries to explain faith through stories. These stories are amazing, and there are so many of them that it is hard to believe that they all could have happened to one ordinary guy. However, that is how Jesus works. I think that’s Bob’s point.
Still, there are moments where the person who is curious about Christ and even the new Christian could get confused. If I were to recommend this book to someone, I would recommend it to someone who feels stalled in their faith but has a pretty firm grasp on the fundamentals. Though Love Does paints an attractive and exciting picture of Christianity, there are points that get cloudy.
There is a chapter that talks about Bob quitting a “Bible study” and starting a “Bible doing”. This is great stuff for someone who is ready for it. He writes about how it is kind of stale to study the meaning and context behind words. However, for us to really understand the text of the Bible, we have to look within the text to find its meaning. Once we have a grasp of what is actually being written, then we can move on to “Bible doing.”
There is a problem that a lot of groups may not make it to the “Bible doing” stage. Reading and researching just to for the sake of reading and researching doesn’t benefit anyone. Its the application of the Bible taken within its context that can refine a Christian.
Even with my few disagreements (which is okay), Love Does is an extremely encouraging book from an ordinary man whom God has blessed with some pretty extraordinary experiences. The invitation is for all of us to be whimsical and take a chance. After all, if we never take a chance then we never have to step out in faith.