When I train mission teams, I usually ask them what their goals are for the experience. The most common answer is to “love them like Jesus”. To “be the hands and feet of Jesus” is really just another way of expressing the same idea. When pressed what those expressions look like in the “real life” mission experience, I have yet to have a young person be able to articulate what they need to actually do to fulfill what they consider their mandate. This is not only sad, but a bit scary. Undefined, those teens will believe they have “been the hands and feet of Jesus” no matter what they did or did not do.
Nick Vujicic attempts in his latest book Be the Hands and Feet to help readers understand in more practical terms what being “the hands and feet of Jesus” really means. Full disclosure – I am a huge Nick Vujicic fan. His way of viewing his disabilities through the lens of God and not man is not only refreshing, but I have personally witnessed the positive effect his message has on children with special needs and their families.
In many ways, this book is what I would expect from Vujicic. It is personal without being maudlin. Glorifies God without being sappy. Shares his challenges without being whiny. Encourages readers of any age to step up and into the life God has planned for them. He gives great practical advice on everything from serving others to living your faith at home to mentoring. Throughout, he sprinkles scripture and his personal humor and stories of his adventures. The stories are engaging and his story telling style takes the reader along with him on his journeys.
The book would easily engage almost any young person, especially those who are questioning their place and purpose in the Church or want more practical mentoring on what it means to live a productive Christian life. In fact, this review would be a total rave except for two huge changes I wish he would make in the personal theology he shares with readers.
The first is his repeated theory that doctrine doesn’t matter – we just need to love God and each other. While this is popular today, a quick reading of the New Testament would indicate Jesus and the Apostles thought, taught and lived a very different philosophy. There are many who are accused of false teachings – pretending to be Christians and teaching what Jesus taught, but perverting the Gospel in some way. In practical terms, I would urge Nick to re-read the New Testament looking for those mentions. Too many young people are swept up in churches designed to make them feel good and take their money – without encouraging any spiritual growth or change. Some even teach doctrines which could be considered anti-biblical, all while claiming to be biblical. (I realize sometimes insignificant things are called “doctrine”, but you can’t throw out the good because of the misuse in some cases.)
My other issue is the largest. Nick is going throughout the world sharing his faith and convincing people they need to be Christians. From all accounts, he is extremely effective. Except he isn’t teaching people how to become a Christian accurately. The “Sinners Prayer” is a relatively modern American invention. It was never used in the time of the Apostles or for more than 1700 years in any denomination of the church. If you believe Jesus and the Apostles taught others to become Christians in the way God wanted them to do – baptism by immersion for the forgiveness of sins by people of the age of accountability is what they taught. (For those who have been taught differently – early church writings outside of the Bible also confirm this was the only way to become a Christian as long as the Apostles lived. Changes were made by man later and did not come from God.)
Please understand, in most ways this book is outstanding. I would recommend it to any Christian who has a firm understanding of baptism and the need to find a church who is serious about doing what God told them to do in scripture through the writers of the Bible. If someone is iffy about becoming a Christian or doesn’t seem to care what the Bible says about what they do though, I hesitate to suggest they read this book – even though the rest is great. I know Vujicic will never read this review, but I pray someone helps him more accurately teach everyone what God actually wants from them. He is so effective – I just hate to think there are thousands of people who think they are Christians, but aren’t. Or are being taken advantage of because he taught them not to worry about the doctrines they are being taught.
This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.