A fellow blogger introduced me to Booksneeze, a book review program for bloggers offered by Thomas Nelson publishers. I was excited to enter the program and eager to receive my first book-- "Free Book" by Pastor Brian Tome.
A bit about the author first, per his website
Brian Tome became pastor of Crossroads in 1995, when a group of friends in Cincinnati wanted to create a place for their friends who had given up on church, but had not necessarily given up on God. Crossroads now hosts more than 12,000 people and is actively engaged in combating generational poverty in Cincinnati’s urban core, operating a medical clinic and supporting an HIV/AIDS hospice in South Africa, and battling child sex slavery in India.
I was a bit put off by the long, ranting title of this book at first. On the cover, Pastor Brian Tome declares that he is a “fanatic about freedom” and that he comes at you hard in this book and wasn’t kidding. The first couple chapters were rough, but I kept reading and am glad I did.
Tome asserts too many people are oppressed by organized religion - thinking that “getting closer to God means more rules and restrictions”. People let their fear and other emotional baggage become strongholds that basically prevent them from following God in a life of total freedom. In order to gain this freedom, we have to abandon our old assumptions, self-sabotaging behaviors, and negative thinking. We must die to self, forgive, let go and allow God to manage our path. Tome’s stages to accomplish this, Blahs, Break, Blues, Blessings, sound similar to the stages of addiction recovery.
Brian Tome’s writing voice is forceful, passionate and gruff at times, but was very engaging. The scripture references were relevant and useful. While I waited to receive this book, I scanned several other reviews online. I found that several readers were offended by Tome’s references to beer, motorcycles, tattoos, and words he fought to keep in the book. One felt his tone was angry and bitter and another that he suggests a living wildly free and not truly focusing on God. After reading this book, I disagree with the others and felt the reader should look beyond the shock-talk at the timely, practical principles for finding spiritual freedom.
Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com