Tim Chaddick, co-author of the highly successful book Better: How Jesus Satisfies the Search for Meaning, again captures readers with a contemporary book that deals with a universal theme that touches our daily lives: The Truth About Lies. In his newest book, Chaddick explores this crucial topic with both wit and scholarship in a way that is easily approachable by the average reader. Although there is room to grow for this budding author, Chaddick presents a work that is sure to both bless and benefit many of his readers.
Perhaps the greatest strength of Chaddick is his author’s voice. He uses a blend of humor, personal experience, and clear tone to make the readers feel like they are in a conversation more than a lecture. Too often, authors are so busy with their rapid fire proof-texting that they don’t take time to create a good, narrative voice. While there’d nothing wrong with having abundant support, Chaddick demonstrates that in can be integrated into the narrative without overwhelming the listener.
By focusing on one or two stories in a chapter, Chaddick is able to demonstrate his points clearly. For instance, when he talks about how lies affect our daily lives, he picks two stories from David’s life: the story of Goliath and the story of Bathsheba. By offering two clear counterpoints, the author is able to not only show two extremes in Christian life, but also draw parallels that make the listener see the danger of lies in a different light.
Structurally, Chaddick has mixed results. His individual chapters are excellent. Not only are they clear and consistent, but also they are broken down into sections that make the overall message of the chapter clear. By doing this, the author allows the listeners to process big ideas by letting them see the individual parts of that idea and how they work together. The chapters read like well-written sermons. The downside of this is that the book reads like each chapter could (and should) be on its own – like a sermon set or a conference with various speakers.
As a result, the overall story-arch doesn’t have this same quality as the individual chapters. While all his chapters are on point with his topic of lies, there frequently isn’t a smooth transition from one chapter to another. Additionally, there isn’t an overly discernable structure that would imply why he put the chapters (particularly the middle chapters) in the order he did. If the book is being used as a weekly group study this won’t be a problem, but when listening to it in a single setting (or two) it can be off-putting.
Adam Verner did an amazing job as always. Anyone who has heard the voice work that he has done for DeYoung’s books can attest to the fact that he is one of the best narrators in the Christian audio market. Verner has the ability to not only read clearly and with good modulation, but also to bring out the personality of the author. When reading something by an author like Chaddick (whose personality is not only apparent but also a great strength of the writing) this unique ability is absolutely paramount.
A copy of the book was generously offered to Dr. Nicholson by christianaudio.com in exchange for this unbiased review. .