When I set out to read 10:10 Life to the Fullest, I assumed this would be one of the myriads of books that proselytizing “having your best life now”. While I will say that I am pleased that this did not seem to be the case, I am no more thrilled with the content of this book.
Daniel Hill sets out to expose what is missing in the Evangelical realm. Namely, he dictates three auspices, which we ought to be found living out: Faith and (conquering) Fear, Faith and Intimacy (with God), and finally, Faith and Missions. On the surface, these seem like very commendable things to dive into – but what I found instead was a lack of clarity and depth to each of these topics.
To be charitable, there are some excellent statements made by Hill in regard to the necessity of transparency in our relationships within the church. However, how he treats this is problematic at points when the overarching theme is honoring one another’s humanity. Humanity is ignoble at best; therefore, it would seem more prudent to honor God’s design for humanity in the midst of such relationships.
I wondered how deeply Hill thought on the sinfulness of man, considering I read statements like the following:
“I am afraid a lot, and if it were a sin to be afraid, then I am certain I would be in a near constant state of sin” (pg. 76).
- Is it indicative or imperative when we are told, “do not fear” or “be anxious for nothing”? (Luke 12:7, 1 Peter 3:14; Phil. 4:6-7).
- Are we not in a constant state of sin – meaning, it is not only conditional on everything you do, but everything you are?
- Does fear of something other than God not expose an idol problem?
In regard to Adam and Eve:
“This is the God I remember being taught about growing up – the God who cannot be in the presence of sin; the God whose holiness and wrath are like a burning fire that must be addressed before we can ever come near. But is that what happens? No” (pg. 134).
- His holiness and wrath is addressed in the garden, specifically, in the curse of death. Even giving them clothes as they leave the garden would be indicative of slaughter taking place in the garden.
- Death and futility was brought upon all creation – yet also the promise of redemption. They were cast from His presence, given curses (childbirth, endless toil, death), and the first physical spilling of blood took place.
- It is impossible to meet God without His provided means by which His holiness and wrath are meted (Christ).
“The lie is that God has rejected us. The lie is that God is distant from us. The lie is that God is punishing us for our sin” (pg. 134).
- God has rejected the unbeliever on the basis of faith (Pro. 11:19, Matt. 25:46)
- God is distant from the unbeliever (1 Peter 3:12, Pro. 28:9) and even will turn his ear from the believer if they hold sin in high esteem (Ps. 66:18)
- There is certainly punishment for sin to the unbeliever (Rom. 6:23) and the believer (Heb. 12:7-13). The distinction is that for those truly in Christ, there is no condemnation. This is vastly different from being punished.
In regard to a women’s story of doubt on the love of Christ:
“It tells them that they are second-class citizens in the kingdom of God and that they will never deserve the love and grace of God” (pg. 136).
- We don’t deserve the love and grace of God; we deserve Hell. This is specifically what makes grace so radically wonderful.
Beyond this, there are appeals to emotional decision-making (such as feeling the call of God, listening to the voice of God, feeling the heart burn, etc.), removing precedence on the basis of biblical decision-making (read Kevin DeYoung’s: Just Do Something).
This book has many “truisms” that are not biblically true – and some nuggets of biblical truth packed away in the midst of a poor hermeneutic, misapplied scriptures, ignored scriptural context, and ad-hominem arguments on the nature of man, sin, God, missions, faith, intimacy, fear, etc.
Hill never addresses a proper fear (reverence of God) and the impact this has on the Christian, nor does he address the dimension of finding corporate identity as the body of Christ in order to derive self-identity. Even Hill’s aim to find self-identity in Christ as an individual is lacking, as he appeals to many other things than “every spiritual blessing” we have inherited as Christ followers (Eph. 1:3).
His stance on Missiology involves being a “sent one” for various other things than sharing the gospel. He argues for a holistic missiology rather than looking to Romans 10. Surely, there is nothing wrong with ministering to the poor and needy – but what all men desperately need is the gospel. There is no “preach the gospel; if necessary use words” – the gospel cannot be preached without words.
On a whole, 10:10 lacks depth and clarity, confuses many scriptural truths, and ignores the meaning of many passages in order to suit the author’s premise – yet most of all falls short of addressing the true need of the Evangelical church in America. We do not need psychosomatic approaches to define what is missing – we need a firm call to obedience in faith to the scriptures. We need clear exposition of the Word in order to understand our amazing ability to excuse away obedience, yet cry for a lack of intimacy with God and wonder what’s missing.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers http://www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.