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A Personal Growth Finalist in the 2004 Word Guild Canadian Writing Awards! "Only God deserves absolute surrender because only God can offer absolutely dependable love." In our self-reliant era, most of us recoil from the concept of surrendering to a power or authority outside ourselves. But surrender need not be seen as threatening, especially when the One to whom we surre A Personal Growth Finalist in the 2004 Word Guild Canadian Writing Awards! "Only God deserves absolute surrender because only God can offer absolutely dependable love." In our self-reliant era, most of us recoil from the concept of surrendering to a power or authority outside ourselves. But surrender need not be seen as threatening, especially when the One to whom we surrender is the epitome of goodness and love. God doesn't want his people to respond to him out of fear or obligation. Rather, he invites us to enter into an authentic relationship of intimacy and devotion. And so God calls us to move beyond mere obedience--by surrendering to love. In this profound book, David Benner explores the twin themes of love and surrender as the heart of Christian spirituality. Through careful examination of Scripture and reflection on the Christian tradition, Benner shows how God bids us to trust fully in his perfect love. Writing with mature wisdom gleaned from many years of integrating psychological and spiritual insight, Benner demonstrates keen perception and sensitivity to the realities of spirtitual formation. In each chapter he includes meditative exercises to guide you into a greater experience of trust and spiritual transformation. God is love, and he intends for you to live in his love.Surrender to Love will lead you to an unexpected place, where yieldedness to God frees you to become who he created you to be.


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A Personal Growth Finalist in the 2004 Word Guild Canadian Writing Awards! "Only God deserves absolute surrender because only God can offer absolutely dependable love." In our self-reliant era, most of us recoil from the concept of surrendering to a power or authority outside ourselves. But surrender need not be seen as threatening, especially when the One to whom we surre A Personal Growth Finalist in the 2004 Word Guild Canadian Writing Awards! "Only God deserves absolute surrender because only God can offer absolutely dependable love." In our self-reliant era, most of us recoil from the concept of surrendering to a power or authority outside ourselves. But surrender need not be seen as threatening, especially when the One to whom we surrender is the epitome of goodness and love. God doesn't want his people to respond to him out of fear or obligation. Rather, he invites us to enter into an authentic relationship of intimacy and devotion. And so God calls us to move beyond mere obedience--by surrendering to love. In this profound book, David Benner explores the twin themes of love and surrender as the heart of Christian spirituality. Through careful examination of Scripture and reflection on the Christian tradition, Benner shows how God bids us to trust fully in his perfect love. Writing with mature wisdom gleaned from many years of integrating psychological and spiritual insight, Benner demonstrates keen perception and sensitivity to the realities of spirtitual formation. In each chapter he includes meditative exercises to guide you into a greater experience of trust and spiritual transformation. God is love, and he intends for you to live in his love.Surrender to Love will lead you to an unexpected place, where yieldedness to God frees you to become who he created you to be.

30 review for Surrender to Love: Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality

  1. 4 out of 5

    Zach

    Top Quotes from "Surrender to Love": "The deepest ache of the soul is the spiritual longing for connection and belonging. No one was created for isolation. 'Nothing in creation is ever totally at home in itself,' says John O'Donohue. 'No thing is ultimately at one with itself.'" (15) "Love is the welcome that tells us that this is where we truly belong, the assurance that we have at last found our place." (17) "Imagine God thinking about you. What do you assume God feels when you come to mind?" (19 Top Quotes from "Surrender to Love": "The deepest ache of the soul is the spiritual longing for connection and belonging. No one was created for isolation. 'Nothing in creation is ever totally at home in itself,' says John O'Donohue. 'No thing is ultimately at one with itself.'" (15) "Love is the welcome that tells us that this is where we truly belong, the assurance that we have at last found our place." (17) "Imagine God thinking about you. What do you assume God feels when you come to mind?" (19) "The courage to face unpleasant aspects of our inner self comes from feeling deeply loved. It also comes from the assurance that we are safe." (51) "Surrender is saying yes to God's YES to me. It begins as I experience his wildly enthusiastic, recklessly loving affirmation of me. It grows our of soaking myself in this love so thoroughly that love for God springs up in response. Surrender to his love is the work of his Spirit, making his love ours and his nature ours." (65) "Stepping onto the road of Christian spiritual transformation requires an encounter with the living God." (71) "Turning toward Jesus is the heart of repentence, because this is the only real possibility of turning away from sin. Turning toward Jesus also makes clear that repentance must be an ongoing matter. It must become a way of life." (72) "Genuine transformation requires vulnerability. It is not the fact of being loved unconditionally that is life-changing. It is the risky experience of allowing myself to be loved unconditionally." (74) "It is only when I accept who I am that I dare to show you that self in all its vulnerability and nakedness. Only then do I have the opportunity to receive your love in a manner that makes a genuine difference." (74) "Daring to accept myself and receive love for who I am in my nakedness and vulnerability is the indispensible precondition for genuine transformation." (74) "What we need is a knowing that is deeper than belief. It must be based on experience." (76) "Human love communicates divine love. There is not other source of love but God. Experiences of human love bring us therefore into an indirect encounter with divine love. They also can serve to prepare us to respond to that love by making the idea of God's love believable." (81) "Learning to love is learning to live. It is becoming fully human. It is nothing less than the reason for our existence. In it alone do we find our deepest fulfillment. For if we find love we find God. And if we find God, we have found love." (96)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Ebert

    This not a typical devotional book, yet it has certainly shaped my devotional life these past few months. I was immediately challenged by one of Benner's premises, namely, that "any authentic spiritual journey must grow from direct, personal experience of God." My theological training and my temperament both influence me to resist emotions and "experiences" as the guides in the Christian life. But what do we mean by a "personal relationship with God" if it doesn't include at least some personal This not a typical devotional book, yet it has certainly shaped my devotional life these past few months. I was immediately challenged by one of Benner's premises, namely, that "any authentic spiritual journey must grow from direct, personal experience of God." My theological training and my temperament both influence me to resist emotions and "experiences" as the guides in the Christian life. But what do we mean by a "personal relationship with God" if it doesn't include at least some personal experience with God Himself? As I continued to read, I found this work to be a deep and insightful exploration of what it means to experience the love of Christ, and the ways our souls resist surrendering to Him. Why do we fear? If we know God to be love, why do we fear surrendering to Him? How do surrender and obedience relate? What does it take for love to transform us? Here are a few memorable quotes for me: "I didn't think of myself as fearful, because I was generally successful in avoiding what I feared." "What most of us resist is unconditional love - perfect love. The reason for this is that such love demands surrender." "Encountering such a God is terrifying because encountering perfect love is an invitation to abandon ego." "It is not the fact of being loved unconditionally that is life-changing. It is the risky experience of allowing myself to be loved unconditionally." "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear..." Benner's message is grounded in biblical passages, contemplative spirituality, and his work as a psychologist. Admittedly, there were a few biblical passages that I thought Benner interpreted and applied a little loosely, but all in all, the message resonated deeply - and continues to resonate - with my longing to know and love Christ - and to rest in His love for me. Foremost among my take-aways from chewing on this lean but meaty work is a deeper understanding of Paul's prayer in Ephesians 3, and a longing to see it realized in myself: "May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." (Eph 3:19, NLT)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karin Elsen

    I was initially put-off by Benner’s language. I’m not drawn to his expressions like "love swells in his heart and a smile comes to his face" and "God is simply giddy about you..." But I liked Benner’s book for this: When Benner forgoes sentimentality, his extolling of God’s love resonates simply and beautifully and fluidly, like the very story of creation he undertakes to explain: God’s love is the source and fulfillment of all creation ... the outpouring of love – an overflow of love from the h I was initially put-off by Benner’s language. I’m not drawn to his expressions like "love swells in his heart and a smile comes to his face" and "God is simply giddy about you..." But I liked Benner’s book for this: When Benner forgoes sentimentality, his extolling of God’s love resonates simply and beautifully and fluidly, like the very story of creation he undertakes to explain: God’s love is the source and fulfillment of all creation ... the outpouring of love – an overflow of love from the heavens to earth. How do we get to the point of surrender? Benner says to face your fears, obey and go with the flow so that we may discover we are actually in a river of love. He doesn’t really talk about resulting emptiness, an emptiness to offer to God for God to fill, in fulfillment of our deepest desires (as Nouwen tells us.) However, I liked his writing on how our belief in self-improvement only reinforces the false self and of course, the indispensable precondition for genuine transformation is to accept and receive love for who we truly are. Also his part on contemplative knowing as essential for transformation. I really liked the final chapter, Becoming Love. Up to that chapter, it was a very individualized voice speaking. In the final chapter the book opens up to the universality of love, the necessity for love, the truth of love and the reconnecting to life through love. I have read elsewhere that to question one’s moral orientation is to witness, which in turn moves one initially to God, whether realized or not at the time. This to me is initial surrender in Benner’s terms, but occurring much earlier in the transformational process. It’s in the movement toward God when the human heart is struck, I believe.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    This slim little book has a fairly simple idea behind it: surrender to God is a better approach to faith than mere obedience. That is, letting go of one's distorted will in favour of God's will (which is ultimately better for us) is the way to live out God's love. The idea of surrender and the importance given it is a familiar aspect of 12 step programs where surrender is seen as the beginning of recovery, largely because the distortions of one's will becomes particularly clear in the addictive This slim little book has a fairly simple idea behind it: surrender to God is a better approach to faith than mere obedience. That is, letting go of one's distorted will in favour of God's will (which is ultimately better for us) is the way to live out God's love. The idea of surrender and the importance given it is a familiar aspect of 12 step programs where surrender is seen as the beginning of recovery, largely because the distortions of one's will becomes particularly clear in the addictive experience. However, Benner takes this concept and grounds it deeply in the Christian story. That is a helpful approach and one which deserves to be taken seriously by anyone interested in growing one's faith.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Read this book aloud with a patient at the end of her life. We both found it helpful. Great book about letting go of fear and trusting the love of God, rather than having a spirituality motivated by fear, trying to please God. I thought to read it after going to a conference where the keynote guy said that when someone is facing death, it is only those spiritualities that teach one how to surrender that are really helpful (helping people to let go and trust that they are supported by something g Read this book aloud with a patient at the end of her life. We both found it helpful. Great book about letting go of fear and trusting the love of God, rather than having a spirituality motivated by fear, trying to please God. I thought to read it after going to a conference where the keynote guy said that when someone is facing death, it is only those spiritualities that teach one how to surrender that are really helpful (helping people to let go and trust that they are supported by something greater, even in death, rather than fighting to the bitter end and making the end bitter). I would have given the book five stars if I could ignore the last few pages of the book. They left both me and my reading partner a bit confused and disappointed -- funny enough, my friend thought I had finished on page 98, after he speaks of "Love as the fulfillment of our humanity." Great place to end! We began talking about the book and how helpful it was, and then I explained that we had a few more pages to go. Then, Benner decides he needs to sneak in the complex notion of a "threefold conversion." What? Why? He then spends half of that section defending himself for including it. It seemed to just muddy the water for me and my friend. And it seemed to have a tone (particularly the "for further reflection" part) of conviction and guilt -- the very ethos he was redefining the entire book! I wonder if that shows how easy it is for evangelicals to slip back into that mindset. My friend said, "Maybe he was having a bad day." I can understand that. And since he gave us 98 pages of gold, I would still highly recommend it. The most succinct, simple crystallization of "the heart of Christian spirituality" I have read. Just stop on page 98.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gary B

    Finally another author who doesn't believe the Christian life can be lived by gritting your teeth and determining to do better! Such authors are few and far between in my experience, and pastors even fewer and a much greater distance between. David Benner's main premise (I think) is that spiritual transformation only comes about as we understand, experience and surrender to God's love. The opportunities for reflection at the end of the chapters should be grasped if we're interested in transformati Finally another author who doesn't believe the Christian life can be lived by gritting your teeth and determining to do better! Such authors are few and far between in my experience, and pastors even fewer and a much greater distance between. David Benner's main premise (I think) is that spiritual transformation only comes about as we understand, experience and surrender to God's love. The opportunities for reflection at the end of the chapters should be grasped if we're interested in transformation rather than information. These reflections at the end of chapters 1 and 2 can take some time. Chapter 1, for example, exhorts the reader to meditate on eight different passages. I allowed a day for each so completing chapter 1 took over a week. Chapter 2 contained fours such reflections. I found each of the twelve to be helpful, powerful and revelatory. Some of David's words and concepts were slightly off-putting for me. I followed the advice of others - that you chew the meat and spit out the bones. Not too many bones, but a couple of points where my church background clashed with David's terminology meant I looked past the language to absorb the principle. This is the first of a trilogy. My local-ish Christian bookshop didn't have these other two books available so they're on their way from elsewhere.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Art

    One of three works by David Benner that can be read together: Surrender to Love, The Gift of Being Yourself, and Desiring God's Will. I appreciated David Benner's exploration of the unconditional love of God. To know God is to know love. He tells some stories about people with whom he's worked as a therapist, and some of them expected God to be conditional towards them in love, or expected a relationship with God to be more like the hurtful relationships they have known. But more than just explo One of three works by David Benner that can be read together: Surrender to Love, The Gift of Being Yourself, and Desiring God's Will. I appreciated David Benner's exploration of the unconditional love of God. To know God is to know love. He tells some stories about people with whom he's worked as a therapist, and some of them expected God to be conditional towards them in love, or expected a relationship with God to be more like the hurtful relationships they have known. But more than just exploring their experiences in past relationships (which is useful to do) David Benner invites people to experience and know God, and expects that God will transform them with his perfect fearless love. He invites the reader to do the same, and has some exercises in Bible reading/ contemplative prayer that are meant to let the reader converse with and be transformed by God's love.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    One of the best meditations on love I've read. It's short but this is great since the power of a book like this lies in the time spent reflecting on and contemplating its passages. One of the best meditations on love I've read. It's short but this is great since the power of a book like this lies in the time spent reflecting on and contemplating its passages.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    I'll disclose up front that I pretty much zoomed through this book in one sitting. There were two reasons for that: 1) it's a short book and an easy read, and 2) I had been warned that it was probably a bad book. I have my reasons for reading it anyway, but the person who warned me was correct: it's a bad book. It's based on bad theology and contains an unhealthy dose of psycho-babble. There are a few nuggets of general truth, but there are better sources for those - it's not worth the muck you I'll disclose up front that I pretty much zoomed through this book in one sitting. There were two reasons for that: 1) it's a short book and an easy read, and 2) I had been warned that it was probably a bad book. I have my reasons for reading it anyway, but the person who warned me was correct: it's a bad book. It's based on bad theology and contains an unhealthy dose of psycho-babble. There are a few nuggets of general truth, but there are better sources for those - it's not worth the muck you have to wade through here to get them. The hogwash started in the preface, where the author states that the "ability to love others is the pinnacle of fulfillment and health for all persons," and that the book "should be of interest not just to Christians but also to those pursuing other spiritual paths, as well as those not consciously on a spiritual journey of any sort." (As if all paths are legitimate.) It continued with references to God's being "head-over-heels in love" with us and "giddy" and uses of terminology such as "Christian mystic" (Tozer a mystic? Really?!?) and Christ-follower (no offense, but I don't like this term for "Christian"). Oh, and did you know that "Christian meditation is like spiritual daydreaming?" He suggests some Bible passages for further reflection, but instructs the reader to "simply let yourself soak in [them]" - don't analyze or think about the passage or examine what is happening. Just let the words "wash over your heart." Talk about mystical! Finally, he refers to "God's vulnerability" and to one of his patients being transformed by the discovery that "the Christ of the Gospels was a God of weakness. It was the love of this weak and vulnerable God that was most transforming for her." His opinion is that learning to love is "nothing less than the reason for our existence...if we find love, we find God..." To say I was disappointed in this book would be a gross understatement. It's probably one of the worst books I have ever read - one star is too much for it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark Durrell

    A Thought-Provoking Start to Benner's Trilogy. In this first volume of three, Benner sets out to demonstrate that God's extravagant, hard-to-put-into-words, amazing love for us; needs to be the core foundation for our spiritual transformations. Any other foundation or pathway is a delusion built to satisfy our false selves. A raw and honest read! A Thought-Provoking Start to Benner's Trilogy. In this first volume of three, Benner sets out to demonstrate that God's extravagant, hard-to-put-into-words, amazing love for us; needs to be the core foundation for our spiritual transformations. Any other foundation or pathway is a delusion built to satisfy our false selves. A raw and honest read!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cameron Keen

    Benner gives the what should be obvious reminder that we are not in control of our lives, so surrendering to Christ should be a no-brainer. However, this book also shows how difficult and scary that can be, highlighting how even obedience is easier than surrender. Recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about God's love or anyone who tends to want a to-do list when God is instead encouraging you to just lean back. Benner gives the what should be obvious reminder that we are not in control of our lives, so surrendering to Christ should be a no-brainer. However, this book also shows how difficult and scary that can be, highlighting how even obedience is easier than surrender. Recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about God's love or anyone who tends to want a to-do list when God is instead encouraging you to just lean back.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Russell

    Love is my word for 2020 and this book was a huge help in taking the deep dive into that whole concept. Incredible insights and things I've never considered. Highly recommend to anyone wanting to explore God's love more. Love is my word for 2020 and this book was a huge help in taking the deep dive into that whole concept. Incredible insights and things I've never considered. Highly recommend to anyone wanting to explore God's love more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sara floerke

    Fourth time I've read this book. Just love. Perfect mix of realistic, personal, non-dogmatic faith...no throwbacks to black and white thinking...tolerant, open...with a view that there is something bigger out there that actually cares about you. I know that sounds like a stupid thing to say in the midst of a pandemic. But I'm saying it. Benner is also a psychotherapist so there is a beautiful weaving of Jungian philosophy and psychotherapy. Fourth time I've read this book. Just love. Perfect mix of realistic, personal, non-dogmatic faith...no throwbacks to black and white thinking...tolerant, open...with a view that there is something bigger out there that actually cares about you. I know that sounds like a stupid thing to say in the midst of a pandemic. But I'm saying it. Benner is also a psychotherapist so there is a beautiful weaving of Jungian philosophy and psychotherapy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jason Kanz

    Benner views other centered love as the natural outpouring of the Christian life. He tells the reader that the Christian life is not so much a self-centered focus on obedience as much as it is a surrender to the love of a perfect Father. In other words, it's not so much an issue of the will as of the heart. Resting in the love of God subsequently prepares us to move and love towards others. I think the author is right that this is a central theme, and a unique theme, of the Christian faith. Benner views other centered love as the natural outpouring of the Christian life. He tells the reader that the Christian life is not so much a self-centered focus on obedience as much as it is a surrender to the love of a perfect Father. In other words, it's not so much an issue of the will as of the heart. Resting in the love of God subsequently prepares us to move and love towards others. I think the author is right that this is a central theme, and a unique theme, of the Christian faith.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    David Benner gets what a life with God is really about - learning to rest in and be transformed by the love of God. Transformation requires our surrender, and surrender to God is only possible if we know how deeply loved we are - failures, warts and all. Anything less than that misses the heart of true Christianity and keeps us in bondage. “Daring to accept myself and receive love for who I am in my nakedness and vulnerability is the indispensable precondition for genuine transformation. But mak David Benner gets what a life with God is really about - learning to rest in and be transformed by the love of God. Transformation requires our surrender, and surrender to God is only possible if we know how deeply loved we are - failures, warts and all. Anything less than that misses the heart of true Christianity and keeps us in bondage. “Daring to accept myself and receive love for who I am in my nakedness and vulnerability is the indispensable precondition for genuine transformation. But make no mistake about just how difficult this is. Everything within me wants to show my best ‘pretend self’ to both other people and God. This is my false self - the self of my own making. This self can never be transformed, because it is never willing to receive love in vulnerability. When this pretend self receives love, it simply becomes stronger and I am even more deeply in bondage to my false ways of living... The life and message of Jesus stand diametrically opposed to such efforts at self-improvement. Jesus did not come to encourage our self-transformation schemes. He understood that rather than longing to receive his love in an undefended state, what we really want is to manipulate God to accept us in our false and defended ways of being. If only he would do this, we would remain unaware of just how desperately we need real love.” (pp. 74-75) Some may read this book and be offended by its message because they would rather remain in their “defended states” and continue to attempt transformation by their own efforts. Others will read it and begin or more fully enter into the depths of God’s love for them and find freedom and healing that only God’s love can bring. I hope the latter is the case for most people.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris Collier

    Incredible little book. Couldn’t recommend it more. The surrender to love is the surrendering of all your life, trust, hope in the perfect love of God found in Jesus. Some favorite quotes: “While one might expect humans to receive the news that God is unequivocally for us as good news, in reality we do not. We have a such an inborn tendency to run our own life and to pay our own way that unconditional love is both unbelievable and terrifying. In short, we want nothing of it.” “Sin is unwillingnes Incredible little book. Couldn’t recommend it more. The surrender to love is the surrendering of all your life, trust, hope in the perfect love of God found in Jesus. Some favorite quotes: “While one might expect humans to receive the news that God is unequivocally for us as good news, in reality we do not. We have a such an inborn tendency to run our own life and to pay our own way that unconditional love is both unbelievable and terrifying. In short, we want nothing of it.” “Sin is unwillingness to trust that what God wants is our deepest happiness. Until I am absolutely convinced of this I will do everything I can to keep my hands on the controls of my life, because I think I know better than God what I need for my fulfillment.” “Conversion is the lifelong transformational process of being remade into the image of God. It is so much more than simply trying to avoid sin. The focus of repentance and conversion is Jesus, not my sin or myself.” The second phase of love for God has “at its core a movement from loving God for MY SAKE to loving him for HIS SAKE.”

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joel Wentz

    A very slim, but beautifully-written reflection on a simple premise: accepting the love of God. Full stop. No qualifications. It's surprisingly hard to do, which is why Benner wrote this. And yes, he uses some potentially cliche, distracting language (God is "head-over-heels" for us, or "giddy" about you) but don't let that put you off. Benner brings valuable, psychological insight and a passionate argument for a healthy surrender to the love offered by God-in-Christ (and he does provide a strong A very slim, but beautifully-written reflection on a simple premise: accepting the love of God. Full stop. No qualifications. It's surprisingly hard to do, which is why Benner wrote this. And yes, he uses some potentially cliche, distracting language (God is "head-over-heels" for us, or "giddy" about you) but don't let that put you off. Benner brings valuable, psychological insight and a passionate argument for a healthy surrender to the love offered by God-in-Christ (and he does provide a strong argument precisely for the use of the term "surrender"). Don't come expecting systematized theology, doctrine, or detailed exegesis, but allow Benner's experience and perspective to usher you into God's presence.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    I loved his thoughts when he briefly discussed the psychology of children being brought up in homes where Christianity is poorly or incorrectly conveyed, and I loved his encouragement of parents being encouraging rather than damning when their children are clearly confronting personal issues. The rest of the book is the typical idiosyncratic apologetics that most pop non fiction books are these days - not at all exclusive or specific to Christian works - where one weaves part fact and part fancy I loved his thoughts when he briefly discussed the psychology of children being brought up in homes where Christianity is poorly or incorrectly conveyed, and I loved his encouragement of parents being encouraging rather than damning when their children are clearly confronting personal issues. The rest of the book is the typical idiosyncratic apologetics that most pop non fiction books are these days - not at all exclusive or specific to Christian works - where one weaves part fact and part fancy to make a case for universalizing their own stance for the much too sought after approval we all clearly crave. I think particularly with his accolades behind him I was put off by his theology, but I will say I do look forward to reading more by Benner, I feel that he has the seeds of some great messages that would benefit many.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mackenzie Miller

    A raw and honest, gentle but blunt evaluation of surrender, grace, the importance of vulnerability, and the need for a personal relationship with Jesus. Writing with many personal examples of how various principles have affected his life, Benner testifies to the long road of sanctification and the need for patience with yourself and others in the process. The reminder that surrender takes time and repetition, and that the Father meets us in our struggles and messes, was so helpful and this book A raw and honest, gentle but blunt evaluation of surrender, grace, the importance of vulnerability, and the need for a personal relationship with Jesus. Writing with many personal examples of how various principles have affected his life, Benner testifies to the long road of sanctification and the need for patience with yourself and others in the process. The reminder that surrender takes time and repetition, and that the Father meets us in our struggles and messes, was so helpful and this book met me in a season of life when I needed it even more than I thought I did. Cheesy at moments, but an easy read and a lot to process - definitely worth your time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Milan Homola

    Benner has a very simple approach that is outside the shallow customary way of talking about Gods love. The way he shows the connection between psychological and spiritual health in the context of love is great. Here are a few quotes. “We want a spirituality of success, not a spirituality of failure. We want a spirituality of improvement, not a spirituality of transformation. But the way of the cross is descent, abandon, and death. This is the foolishness of the gospel.” “The life of love is a l Benner has a very simple approach that is outside the shallow customary way of talking about Gods love. The way he shows the connection between psychological and spiritual health in the context of love is great. Here are a few quotes. “We want a spirituality of success, not a spirituality of failure. We want a spirituality of improvement, not a spirituality of transformation. But the way of the cross is descent, abandon, and death. This is the foolishness of the gospel.” “The life of love is a life of death to the kingdom of self.” “Growth in Love is not accomplishment but the receipt of a gift.”

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    I took my time with this one -- slowly reading and then re-reading passages and entire chapters over and over. It hit me so close. Highly recommended to anyone like me who fears giving God total control because your trust is weak; or anyone who feels they must *do* or work to earn God's favor; or anyone who doesn't want to let go of control. I struggle with all three. The prayer of this book is that we might understand and experience God's extravagant love so much, that we learn to trust Him and I took my time with this one -- slowly reading and then re-reading passages and entire chapters over and over. It hit me so close. Highly recommended to anyone like me who fears giving God total control because your trust is weak; or anyone who feels they must *do* or work to earn God's favor; or anyone who doesn't want to let go of control. I struggle with all three. The prayer of this book is that we might understand and experience God's extravagant love so much, that we learn to trust Him and surrender our "self" to Him...the heart of being followers of Christ. It is a lifelong journey and process, but this book has helped me so much!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Amos

    This challenged me, as Benner doesn't set about trying to use explicit Scripture to back his conclusions. His diction is also different than the religious books I normally read. Yet when I slowed down, and allowed myself to sit and think about his arguments, they moved me. A few of Benner's sentences do not sit well with me, but when grading this book on what it hopes to communicate, namely that God loves his children, I think it achieved that intended purpose. I was pushed to sift through some o This challenged me, as Benner doesn't set about trying to use explicit Scripture to back his conclusions. His diction is also different than the religious books I normally read. Yet when I slowed down, and allowed myself to sit and think about his arguments, they moved me. A few of Benner's sentences do not sit well with me, but when grading this book on what it hopes to communicate, namely that God loves his children, I think it achieved that intended purpose. I was pushed to sift through some of the obstacles I've placed between myself and God, with clarity I didn't have before as to why I set up those barriers.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marie Bowen

    This book has been very devotional for me. I love his description of following Christ as beginning and ending in love. Surrendering to God’s love brings the ego-obsessed self outside of itself and into loving communion with God. And this radical, perfect, divine love is transformational. Only soaking in this love will truly change someone to be a lover of God and others. A great book that reoriented me to the heart of the gospel: God’s costly love to reconcile his bride, his children to himself. This book has been very devotional for me. I love his description of following Christ as beginning and ending in love. Surrendering to God’s love brings the ego-obsessed self outside of itself and into loving communion with God. And this radical, perfect, divine love is transformational. Only soaking in this love will truly change someone to be a lover of God and others. A great book that reoriented me to the heart of the gospel: God’s costly love to reconcile his bride, his children to himself. It tends itself toward repetition, but for me that served as a devotional meditation on these truths about God that are so hard to actually believe.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shireen Eldridge

    Man this book! I really think believers should read it once every couple of years. I felt God in the words and many times had to stop to journal or pray or sit and reflect. To be know as His Beloved in a way that is so integrated into our souls and our very nature, then to turn and give that love so freely is only done in His Spirit. This author does a great job of reminding us of that weakness we lack and the love and joy we gain in Christ...only through vulnerable surrender. Can’t wait to read Man this book! I really think believers should read it once every couple of years. I felt God in the words and many times had to stop to journal or pray or sit and reflect. To be know as His Beloved in a way that is so integrated into our souls and our very nature, then to turn and give that love so freely is only done in His Spirit. This author does a great job of reminding us of that weakness we lack and the love and joy we gain in Christ...only through vulnerable surrender. Can’t wait to read the second book in the series!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    This is the first of Benner's books that I've read, having seen many of his words quoted by other authors. And it is simply marvellous. I love how Benner sums up the purpose of mankind: we're made in the image of love (God is love) and accordingly, our purpose is to surrender to God's love and in so doing discovering that we too are 'love' (it's who we are) and the point of life is to learn love. This is a slow read. Inhale Benner's words (you'll highlight most of them) and chew on them with God. This is the first of Benner's books that I've read, having seen many of his words quoted by other authors. And it is simply marvellous. I love how Benner sums up the purpose of mankind: we're made in the image of love (God is love) and accordingly, our purpose is to surrender to God's love and in so doing discovering that we too are 'love' (it's who we are) and the point of life is to learn love. This is a slow read. Inhale Benner's words (you'll highlight most of them) and chew on them with God. I'd suggest this book will change many people's lives.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sudip Bapari Ripon

    It is a wonderful book. I enjiyed. Good book to read. It really helpfut to transfotm life to glorify God. Willingness to surrender is thr first strp to received God's promice grace, proction and all others need in our life Good book to read. It really helpfut to transfotm life to glorify God. Many people does not know importence of surrender to be under God grace. It wonderful and only easy way. It is a wonderful book. I enjiyed. Good book to read. It really helpfut to transfotm life to glorify God. Willingness to surrender is thr first strp to received God's promice grace, proction and all others need in our life Good book to read. It really helpfut to transfotm life to glorify God. Many people does not know importence of surrender to be under God grace. It wonderful and only easy way.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Timothy N Brooks

    Learning Surrender I really valued the distinction he makes between obedience and surrender . As someone who has followed Jesus for many years it is a good reminder that obeying Jesus simply out of an act of the will is not what God wants . God wants heart completely surrendered to his love.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    I adored this book, and am so thankful we went through it as a church. This book is great because it made me feel like I wasn't alone. I have struggled with many of the issues laid out in this book, and to have them not only named but also explained--with practical ways to address them, was a huge blessing to me. I highly encourage everyone to read this book. I adored this book, and am so thankful we went through it as a church. This book is great because it made me feel like I wasn't alone. I have struggled with many of the issues laid out in this book, and to have them not only named but also explained--with practical ways to address them, was a huge blessing to me. I highly encourage everyone to read this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Ellis

    I read this book as a devotional over a few months. I took my time as it contains so many nuggets of truth, that to feel the love of God, we need to experience it, to surrender ourselves. The book took elements of psychology, such as our inner child, to explain how we can surrender ourselves. There was much I took from it that I found helpful

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Surrender is a way of saying "I acknowledge that I do not need this for my happiness and fulfillment" This book explores surrender and it's importance in growing spiritually in following Jesus. It explores why and how we can surrender in very simple terms and with profound truth. Fantastic short book. Surrender is a way of saying "I acknowledge that I do not need this for my happiness and fulfillment" This book explores surrender and it's importance in growing spiritually in following Jesus. It explores why and how we can surrender in very simple terms and with profound truth. Fantastic short book.

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