Book Review: Surrender to Love, by David G. Benner

Genuine transformation is hard to find. Faithful church attendance, full participation in small groups, and for the advanced; serving in a church ministry, is not indicative that you are learning to live into the abundant kind of life that Jesus offers. How is it that the church tends to produce theologically educated and morally pious people, and yet the core of who we are is left untouched? We settle for developing coping skills, behavior management, and self improvement plans. But learning to receive, participate in, and embody love is what most of long for but find difficult to attain. Does this resonate with you at all?

In “Surrender to Love: Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality”, David Benner helps us rediscover how the love of God revealed in Jesus is the center for genuine transformation. In just under 105 pages, he clearly and compelling articulates a vision for spirituality that moves us beyond self improvement to surrender and a life of union with God.

Benner names some of the most prevalent inhibitors to transformation: fear and the false self. He articulates how these pitfalls prevent transformation even when we encounter divine love. He then names a pathway forward where divine love meets the naked self. This is where Jesus meets us with cruciform love. This pathway moves from being transformed by love into becoming love. All of this is weaved together under the thread that union with God is at the heart of Christian spirituality not achievement.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is exhausted with a spiritually that is reduced to getting smarter and sinning less, but leaves our truest selves untouched.