Aaron and his wife, Shauna, worked at my church several years ago. At the time, I wasn’t quite as wrapped up in their work as I have been since they left. I’ve owned and read each of Shauna’s books and when Aaron started working on this one – his first book – I knew I had to get my hands on this one, too.
The Eternal Current: How a Practice-Based Faith Can Save Us from Drowning
by Aaron Niequist
Spirituality, Nonfiction, Christian
Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, The Eternal Current is about moving from the rut of a belief-centric faith to a belief-and-acts-centric faith on a daily basis. When his own faith was running stuck, Aaron started searching for more. He started searching for a third way, a way to practically live what he believed beyond simply believing it.
“If information alone could transform us into Christlikeness, then we would be the most Christlike generation of all time. We have unlimited access to all the knowledge in human history through the smartphones in our pockets, yet the world doesn’t seem to be moving quickly toward a holy utopia.”
“We’re not trying to change people’s minds; we’re trying to change the world… teaching serves to guide and propel us into tangible participation with God’s work in and through us.”
“Uniformity is a poor substitute for unity, because uniformity denies reality.”
“Engaging ‘the other’ with grace helps us become more secure in our own identities. We can be comfortable with the differences in others only when we’re already at home with ourselves.”
“The poor are not problems to solve but teachers to learn from. They understand a part of reality that the affluent often can’t see but desperately need to embrace…”– Aaron Niequist, The Eternal Current
Awards (based upon my brief research):
My Overall Rating:
3 – First, my dislikes: much of the book was about what Aaron’s (previous) church had done to start “The Practice”, their integration of the concepts described in this book. Those parts of the book made it feel as if this was written for church leaders and not church goers. Also, he used numerous quotes from others and suggested several other books throughout his writing. To me, that made it seem like a research paper as opposed to a reflective book on why/how/what changes were made in Aaron’s life to get to where he is now.
But here’s what I did like… Growing up in the church, I went to church every Sunday. I accepted the Lord as my Savior at a very young age and continued to dutifully attend church and other church-like things. But now, as an adult, it makes me mad that much of my faith was based on what I believed and how well I knew what I believed rather than practiced what I believed. I’ve struggled to want to go to church because I don’t need another place where I can learn – I need a place where I can do, where I can practice what I’ve learned. I’ve struggled to appreciate some of my closest relationships because I don’t need another place where I can comfortably fellowship – I need a place where the fellowship of believers will do, where they will practice what they’ve learned.
Aaron tackled both of those concepts, albeit briefly, and I really needed to hear that I wasn’t the only person who’s had those thoughts. Where do I go from here? That has just been the question of probably half of my last decade, but, as stated in the book, I want to “do good better,” and as a whole, this book has encouraged me to continue searching for what that looks like in my life.