Everyone, everyone, everyone has been telling me that I should check out books by Bob Goff. They say that he’s totally wonderful and will change my life. I even had a conversation with a stranger on the beach about his book “Love Does.” So, needless to say, I was pretty excited to start this book. I had high hopes, despite a friend’s dislike of Goff’s writing style. When so many people are telling you how wonderful something is, you tend to expect a lot.
As far as expectations go, this book fell extremely short for me. I feel that Goff has a powerful message, but has presented it in such an ill organized way that it loses it’s thunder. Goff attempts to use stories to bring various points across to readers. Each chapter is a new story. I found myself more wrapped up in each story segment, rather than the application of truth at the end of each short segment. I feel like I learned more about Goff than I did about love and what it does.
Story is great for explaining ideas, but when there isn’t a common story threaded throughout a book, I tend to feel overwhelmed and ideas begin to fall through the cracks. Goff may have been better off to stick with a few stories. Or place the idea at the beginning of the book and explain it further by making points and applying stories to some of the points. While it’s interesting to learn about someone, I don’t think that was Goff’s goal.
Further, I didn’t love the language that Goff uses throughout his book. Phrases like “Jesus met this guy named Peter” tend to turn me off. Goff’s language continually uses this tone. He uses a relaxed voice, that I don’t feel fits the topic Goff is trying to cover. It almost seems as though Goff is trying to speak to either non Christians or new Christians, rather than all Christians. He goes about stories as though they aren’t common knowledge and that Jesus and the disciples are being newly introduced as these “guys.”
Goff sees religion as a strictly love based relationship with God, and in this view, I think he has missed some key aspects. I am trying to remove myself from caring about man-created traditions, but I do believe there are still things that are commanded to Christians and examples the new testament church implements that we should follow. When we become too relaxed about our relationship with God, I think this is when we tend to fall. We need to find some grounding and cling to it.
I do believe love does. Love is an action and we are called to live this action. I don’t think we live love nearly enough. Yet, Goff’s book didn’t help me with this issue. It gave me a few ideas, but the book had more story than lesson. I would have liked Goff to dive deeper into the meat of the topic and lean less heavily on story to create his points for conversation.