In his normal casual, approachable manner, Kyle Idleman has yet another literary success. End of Me combines real life examples, applicable interpretation, and clear analogies to help Christians overcome their own limitations, so they can have a better relationship with Jesus Christ.
One of the strengths of all of Idlemans books is his ability to mix personal and real life examples to help the audience have well-developed understanding of the topic. These examples range from Idlemans own life, to the lives of his friends, to examples that he has been given through social media and his web site. The advantage that this approach offers is that it both makes it easier to understand the position of the book and its relevance on the listeners lives. For instance, when Idleman talks about what we fill our lives with, he gives an array of situations that people frequently find themselves in, an explanation how they might arrive at that situation, and the dangers connected with that situation.
A unique quality of much of Idlemans writing is that he gives a narrative interpretation of traditional stories and parables that helps his audience see both the characters and their circumstances in the light of the books topic. He does a great job of walking the listeners through a story so that they can see both the application on the social relevance of what he is saying. For example, his interpretation of the woman cleaning the feet of Jesus, while going well beyond the actual story, offers several important insights into first century Jewish life, customs, and values. Idleman is clear, and regularly reminds the audience, that these interpretations are just his own creation and that he uses them to help give greater clarity and context.
Perhaps the most pervasive element of this book, and Idlemans writing as a whole, is how he can connect the common place and biblical truths through his use of analogy. He offers his listeners new perspectives in a way that is both accessible and comprehensive. For instance he analogizes the example of the potters hand (seen both in Jeremiah and Isaiah) not only to the remaking of our lives, but to actual pottery that gains value only after it is broken. The authors analogies put the stories in stark contrast with traditional social values which allows the audience to see well known verses in a new light.
Idleman is quickly establishing himself as one of the premiere Christian writers not simply through his unerring depth of study, but because of his ability to break down complex ideas into digestible bites for todays questioning (and sometimes stubborn) society.
A copy of the book was generously offered to Dr. Nicholson by christianaudio.com in exchange for this unbiased review.