Book Review: I Am Second by Doug Bender & Dave Sterrett

The book I Am Second by Bender and Sterrett is a series of brief testimonies by people, many famous and some not, highlighting how they reached the point of realizing they wanted their lives to be second to Christ. In your area, you may have seen the billboards with a picture and the words “I am second” intimated as a quote by the person pictured. This book is a product of the ministry of the same name, started by Norm Miller as a way to show people the reality of God’s love.

There is a lot to commend about this book. My favorite thing about the text is the interaction with technology; the add-ons that are available by using a QR code reader on a smart phone. With as many stories that are told in the book, the number multiplies by at least three if you add the stories available online. Each story has an accompanying video that can be accessed the same way.

Also, the backgrounds and circumstances of the individuals highlighted in the stories are diverse. So, whoever is reading this book will likely find some story that resonates with their own. Each of the testimonies highlights the negative circumstances and decisions that God used to compel them into the arms of Christ. Very heartening to hear, repeatedly, how God has made good our of the bad we bring to him. A win for the book.

Yet, the number of stories is a double edged sword. In their brevity they retain a shallowness. Either intentionally or because of the short length, the stories focus on the conversion moment. While this moment is hugely important, the way the stories are told the moment is out of context of the larger story. Many stories gloss over struggles that may arise after conversion, often citing that the desire to do X no longer exists. It is true that for some God miraculously takes things away, more often than not in my experience the life in Christ is a battle with the old self. It would have been nice to get more pictures with a fuller view.

Overall, this book was a solid read. I’ll lend it to a lost friend who is experiencing a dark night so that they may find encouragement in that their circumstances may represent God knocking on their door.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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