Unshakeable Trust by Joyce Meyer
Rather than interpret and explain the Bible, Meyer reads it through the lens of practical human wisdom and common-sense psychological insights. The result is not untrue, but more or less predictable for mature Christians
Unshakeable Trust - Find the Joy of Trusting God at All Times, in All Things
By Joyce Meyer
Hodder & Stoughton, 2017
Reviewer: Pieter Lalleman
Joyce Meyer has already written over 100 books, but this was the first one I ever opened. I picked it up with several presumptions: I expected it to be a book for women, to be superficial and to contain the teaching of the prosperity gospel (= ‘God will make us all rich and healthy’). I can report that not all my expectations were correct!
There is little in the book that would specifically appeal to women more than to men, as far as I can see. Yet the book is indeed rather superficial. I did not read anything surprising or original about a Bible text (Meyer calls these things ‘Scriptures’) or a single element of life as a Christian. Rather than interpret and explain the Bible, Meyer reads it through the lens of practical human wisdom and common-sense psychological insights. The result is not untrue, but more or less predictable for mature Christians.
Meyer does not preach the prosperity gospel, at least not in this book, yet her view of God is more cuddly than that of the Bible. The back-cover back text says; ‘Trust is not an obligation, but a privilege you have as a believer….’ (my italics). In my Bible trust is an obligation, a divine command. Meyer does not like commands and she rather tries to show how reasonable Christianity is. Hence the back cover also says that she ‘explores the benefits of trusting God’. (again my italics) I am unhappy with the term benefits.
Apart from this, the book is full of stories about the author and life, and it is wide-ranging: in addition to trust, many other aspects of the Christian life are also discussed. Meyer does not use inclusive language.
One passage struck me positively and I have quoted it in a sermon. It comes in a discussion of ‘When God is silent’: ‘It is an error to believe that God will tell us each move we are to make. That kind of relationship is for parents and babies, not for mature sons and daughters.’ Amen to that!
The Revd Dr Pieter Lalleman teaches Bible at Spurgeon’s College