I posted about the "I Am Second" movement two weeks ago, so this is more an update than a post. But I finished the book, and it was everything I hoped it would be. I posted a review on another site, but here it is:
I try not to let my faith influence my reviews because book reviews aren’t the appropriate venue for proselytizing. But when you’re reviewing books about your faith, it’s impossible to do. I Am Second is the book form of a larger movement aimed at getting people to put God first in their life. Their website has a collection of videos of mostly-famous individuals sharing their testimonies about how and (more importantly) why they became Christians. This book shares these same testimonies, but the written form of these testimonies provides more context and is not simply a transcription of the video clips. The book does a great job of sharing testimonies of different people with different struggles all redeemed by God – from the former lead guitarist of Korn discussing how he didn’t find fulfillment in fame/fortune/drugs, to MMA fighter Vitor Belfort discussing how he struggled with pain and happiness, to a couple who overcame divorce through their faith, to a soldier discussing faith and war, to a former prostitute discussing how faith got her off the streets, and more. And while there are only 20 testimonies in the book, there are QR codes that link you to videos of a host of other testimonies. These real people and their real problems all send the same message: that there is a real God who delights in redeeming people who put Him first in their lives. I Am Second presents flawed believers, warts and all. The media likes to sensationalize accounts of professed Christians doing bad things (e.g. Josh Hamilton, who also has a testimony in this book) as if to proclaim the message that Christianity is full of sinners. Well, that is in fact the Gospel message. I highly recommend this book for all Christians; it affirms what you already know is true. If you’re not a Christian, but you’re struggling with big issues, this book shares stories of struggle and the inspiring accounts of people overcoming big issues; I’d recommend this book to you as well. I usually reserve five star ratings for books with exceptional prose telling incredible stories. This book doesn’t have exceptional prose, but the stories are beyond incredible, and because they resonate with my faith, this book is among my favorite books ever.