Book Review Of Craig Groeschel’s New Book, ALTAR EGO

I just finished Craig Groeschel’s new book, “Altar Ego” and wanted to do a review for the blog. If you’re not familiar with Craig he’s a pastor out in Oklahoma City, OK. He first gained popularity as the pastor of his mega church in OKC, but has in recent years seen his profile rise significantly as a popular conference speaker and subsequent author. I  first got to hear him speak at Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, GA. He’s a great speaker and while I’d consider myself a fan, I’d never actually read any of his books before so I was really looking forward to reading his latest release.  And to be frank, I enjoyed it more than I expected. So below is my review:

Summary Of Content: In his book Groeschel invites readers to lay down the labels and destructive self-perceptions that have prevented them from being all that God wants them to be. And instead presents them with who God says we are: that we are his masterpiece, that we are overcomers etc. Then for the second half of the book he lays out the values, qualities and behaviors that should instead describe our lives, among these are, living with patience, becoming people of integrity, being bold, etc.

Overall Thoughts/Impressions:  I really liked the book.  I thought his writing style was easy and not difficult or convoluted.  Also Craig writes with a kind of transparency that really enriches the reading experience.

The Thing I Loved Most About The Book:  My favorite parts of the book were when Craig shared from his own life, I really loved that, whether its sharing his own struggles in these areas or telling us stories of how God did things in his life that just blew him away.  Like I mentioned before, Craig writes with a lot of transparency and I think this elevated the book considerably.

Biggest Surprise About The Book/Reading Experience:  The biggest surprise of all for me about this book is just how funny Craig is.  I found myself laughing out loud a number of times.  It was really a pleasant surprise.  For example, he tells the story of how he got a tennis scholarship to play tennis at college, but when he got there he was just horrible.  And he was surprised the coach never cut him, so one day he asked the coach how come you didn’t cut me and the coach said, “you were the only one with a car, and I needed you to take the others to practice.”  Or how before each match he would pray on the tennis court and one time he played against a guy Jeremy from Oral Roberts University and as Craig was praying he looked up and saw Jeremy praying too and yelled over, “hey, you can’t pray that’s my thing!”

Favorite Chapter: I think my favorite chapter was chapter 5 “Living With Patience” I was kinda surprised to realized that, but for some reason that chapter really resonated with me.  The idea of not sacrificing the ultimate for the immediate.  Really a sober call to not just live for immediate gratification.

Favorite Line/Statement From The Book:  “Integrity is living in full accordance with your beliefs.” (Honorable Mention: “Boldness is behavior born out of belief”)

Final Thoughts:

It was great just being reminded of what God says we are, because I think for many of us bad labels and self-beliefs creep up on us over time, so much so that we don’t even realize just how much it affects out lives, and so the book served a great tool for self-examination. Also, I really loved his final section on “Passionate Obedience” it was refreshing reminder and exhortation to live with boldness and to let that boldness infuse our prayers and our obedience.

Here is a picture of Craig Groeschel for those who aren’t familiar with him.

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