Extraordinary by John Bevere

Extraordinary is a self-help book for Christians who are seeking the to live life the way God intended it to be lived.  It urges Christians to reach beyond mediocre living and expectations.  It is meant to be a guide for every Christian who has ever wondered, Is this all there is to life?

This book was not at all what I expected.  I imagined it to be a book filled with encouragement and reminders of God's promises that we are more than conquerors through Him.  I expected a book to lighten my load, strengthen my resolve and increase my spiritual growth.  I was sadly disappointed.  Admittedly, there were a few portions of the book that were helpful and a few statements that were profound.  Beyond that, the book had several issues.

Red flags went up within the first few chapters when I felt Bevere was dancing around certain issues that are of utmost doctrinal importance.  Somehow he managed to discuss these points while making it unclear as to where he stood on the points.  But since the book is set up to where each chapter builds on the next, the truth was finally revealed.

After reading the book, this is the impression I was left with on what Bevere believes:  First of all, he believes in a health-and-wealth gospel that states that God wants all of his children to be healthy and wealthy.  He also believes that if a Christian is not healthy and wealthy, it is because of a lack of faith on the part of the Christian.  He also concludes that with proper faith, we can accomplish anything that Jesus accomplished while on this earth.  We can heal the sick, cast out demons, and make earth just like heaven.  To this statement, I would love to ask why he doesn't have a full-time ministry visiting hospitals, nursing homes and asylums, but I digress.  He even went so far as to say that man can and does limit God in what He can do here on earth.  His proof was that God couldn't calm the storm on the sea of Galilee; He needed Jesus (in bodily form) to do that.  What?  Another statement that truly bothered me was when Bevere was discussing the woman with the issue of blood.  He stated that Jesus had no idea what was going on until He felt His power leave Him when the woman touched the hem of His robe.  That's insane.  Jesus knows everything!  Jesus knew that woman would come to Him before she was ever born.

In addition to the doctrinal differences, Bevere uses several versions of the Bible and often paraphrases to make the verses say what he wants them to say.  I feel this is very misleading and can cause great confusion to the reader.  Not only that, but Bevere has a knack for picking and choosing the verses that seem to support his point while leaving out others that would clarify the verse and give its true meaning.  For example, in his chapter on faith, he used the verse in James that says, "Ye have not because ye ask not."  He goes on to say how we can have anything we want if we only ask and believe.  However, if he would read the very next verse in James, he would see, "Ye ask and receive not because ye ask amiss."  We must compare Scripture with Scripture.  We cannot pick one verse or one part of a verse and use it out of context to meet our needs.

As an author myself, I dislike writing poor reviews.  I know how it feels to receive negative feedback.  However, as a Christian, it is my duty to point out false teachings, and this book is full of them.  If you're looking for a health-and-wealth, supremacy of man resource, this is it.  However, if you're looking for the truth, I strongly suggest you look elsewhere.  As I mentioned earlier, there were some really good points made in the book; however, there wasn't enough to warrant reading the book.

I received Extraordinary as part of the Blogging for Books program from Waterbrook Mulnomah.  The opinions expressed herein are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.