I was recently sent an ebook to review by Waterbrook Multnomah in return for an honest review. The title which I received was a book by Mark Batterson called ‘In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day’.
Based on the little-known story of Benaiah in 2 Samuel 23:20-21, this book is a collection of the author’s reflections on risk-taking for God. Batterson gets very excited about the story, commenting that it must tell us something about Benaiah that he should be the one chasing a lion rather than the other way round. Themes of chapters include dealing with fear, the art of reframing, learning to live with uncertainty and to choose risk for the sake of grabbing opportunity.
Now, to be fair to Batterson, I can imagine getting a sermon out of this. A sermon much along the lines of the book that he has written. But to get nine chapters out of two verses of Scripture? That seems a little ambitious. And indeed, it was my experience as I read the book that Batterson had probably overreached himself with this project. The book contained interesting insights but nothing that I haven’t read in other popular Christian literature and actually, as a whole, I found it boring. His style felt somewhat disjointed and I was glad when I had finished it.
Yet it is not all bad: the end of each chapter contains a review of key points to remember from the chapter as well as a question which might start fruitful personal reflection. This book might be appropriate for someone who is struggling with fear and risk-taking but it wasn’t a book which worked for me.