You may have seen the new Christian movie in theaters, Overcomer. As part of the promotion for the movie, several authors were asked to write books that addressed a similar theme – seeing ourselves as God sees us.
Radiant is the book written for “teen girls and young women” by Priscilla Shirer. Shirer is a popular Christian speaker and author. You may also remember her from the movie War Room a couple of years ago. (Shirer also stars in Overcomer.)
I had actually participated in a couple of Bible studies using Shirer’s earlier pre War Room books. I was hopeful this new book would be as good as those earlier studies.
It’s important to note that you don’t need to see the movie, for the book to make sense. In fact, she only brings up the movie once in a rather brief reference.
Radiant is divided into four major sections, each contains several chapters. The book reads smoothly though. If I hadn’t noticed the table of contents, I’m not sure I would have realized the book was subdivided into sections.
Shirer’s style is effective, because it’s conversational. She weaves scripture with personal stories and the concepts she wants young women to understand about God wants them to see themselves.
Although many young women will be drawn to the sections helping them rid themselves of negative thoughts of their appearance and for some their very worth, I hope ultimately they pay closer attention to the later chapters.
I love how Shirer uses David to discuss the concept that God may indeed have large special good works planned for our future. She points young women though, to focusing on developing and sharing their gifts by serving others now, by being faithful in the every day chances God sends your way. Focus on being faithful now and God will eventually show you His will for the future.
I only have one disappointment with the book and unfortunately it is major. Shirer spends several pages attempting to encourage young women to become Christians if they aren’t already. Which would normally be great – except she gives them misinformation and never clearly tells them what the Bible teaches.
If we are following the example of Jesus, we will be baptized. If we follow the examples found in Acts, we will be baptized by immersion. Acts 2:38 is about as clear as any scripture can be : “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Also note all examples of conversions in the book of Acts and scriptures like Romans 6:3-5. Baptism does not exclude faith, it is the outward expression of faith that God requires of His people.)
Yet Shirer suggests the sinner’s prayer – not mentioned in the Bible, not even invented until a couple of hundred years ago. It makes me so sad that someone as gifted by God as Shirer is not giving young women the instructions God gave them for how to become a Christian. Not only that, but by not being baptized, they aren’t receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit – the very gift that could make it easier for them to see themselves as God sees them.
Other than that very unfortunate section though, the book has a lot to offer young women who are perhaps struggling with their self image and their place in God’s Kingdom. It’s up to readers to decide whether or not that section limits the usefulness of giving the book to the young women they know.
This is book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.