So, I chose a book because I thought my husband would like it–even though I know that the chances that he’ll actually read it are about one in a million. Regardless, No Matter the Cost, by Vance Brown, was an inspiring read, even if I’m not a man. The book is essentially a call to action for Christian men–asking them to join in a Band of Brothers in a unified fight against a common spiritual enemy. Brown utilizes the Lord’s Prayer as an organizing theme, giving new depth to the prayer and inviting readers to experience the prayer more fully.
Brown recognizes that many men are wounded, referencing the 9-11 fall of the Twin Towers as an experience that many men can relate to. “Maybe it was the tower of marriage or job or family or friendship or good health or some combination of all of them. Whatever it was, it collapsed in a heap of rubble and smoke” (Brown, 58). Like the Towers that fell on 9-11, these things seemed solid, indestructible. They were looked on as an accomplishment, a landmark. Their fall is indescribable. Unfathomable.
However, Brown offers these men hope–that there “is a power, a larger story, a love, and a divine plan that cannot always be seen with the naked eye”–and he asks men to join him in fighting for this cause (Brown, 68). He asks them to ponder the kingdom men have created and to hope for God’s kingdom–one that brings peace, rather than hopelessness. In order to do this, he says, men have to move beyond the “tranquilization by the trivial” referenced by Kierkegaard. We all must stop allowing the day to day striving for paychecks, etc, to keep us from grasping the hope and fighting for our families.
I love the rallying call he quotes from the last entry of the journal of a pastor who died in Zimbabwe:
“I will not flinch in the face of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I am a disciple of Christ. I must go until He comes for His own, by the grace of God. He will have no problem recognizing me, because my colors are clear.” (158)
Isn’t that powerful?! I love the idea of knowing that my colors are clear to Christ–He won’t have any trouble finding me.
The book is filled with inspirational stories of men who have been to the bottom and found their way back out. He references great films and literature, and I love the poems by John Blase sprinkled throughout the text. Overall, I think men will find the book encouraging and inspiring. At least I did. ;)
**I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my fair and honest review.**