Monday, September 30, 2013

Static Jedi by Eric Samuel Timm

Static Jedi by Eric Samuel Timm is more than a book describing how distractions can interfere with one's spiritual life.  This book does not simply itemize each possible distraction, nor does it tell the reader how to make priorities or rework to do lists to include prayer time. Even at first glance the uniqueness of this book is obvious.  Timm's book is not simply a linear book of text, but rather it includes biblical truth and insight in the form of poetry and bullet points as well.  He speaks to the modern generation using analogies and illustrations that apply to the lives of today's hi-tech media infused generation. The concept of the "Jedi" is a reference from the popular movie Star Wars.  In the preface, the author describes a "Static Jedi" as "One who masters the noise. Noise, existing in many shapes, consumes our time, real life, and ability to hear God.  A jedi is a form of master, teacher, and sensei." (page xxv)

The reader is brought face to face with the meaningless distractions that take valuable time from life and relationships.  Meaningless wasted  hours each day passively watching TV, reading magazines or scrolling social media translates into days and years of time stolen from more meaningful relationships with God, family and children. This book is an eye opener as Timm shares with the reader the urgency to master these distractions in life that he compares to meaningless noise or static and how to master and overcome these distractions just as a masterful, skilled jedi.  And just like the message of opposites in the movie, Star Wars, the opposite of noise and static is clarity.  In fact it is to be each and every believer's goal to increase those valuable but rare moments of clarity in which one engages in spiritually meaningful activity with God and other human beings. The problem is that people crave the static and are actually addicted to the static.  In fact many publications and materials sold to modern day Christians are based on the premise that the average Christian has very little time to devote to meaningful spiritual development and prayer.  This is proven by the fact that daily devotional books and devotional themed bibles are so popular.  The author rightfully marvels at how Christians can be a storehouse of useless trivia and information memorizing lyrics to songs and movie dialogue yet cannot even remember even five verses of scripture! And ironically, reading a lot of Christian books, but nor the bible itself can contribute to the static noise as well.  In fact, the author goes on to state on page 67, "A pitfall for this generation is that we read more books with a publisher's logo on the spine than we do the Logos itself".  This is harsh truth for many readers, but true nonetheless.  He continues to explain that we read more of man's words than the words of God creating a false sense of spiritual assurance- also known as false mastery or pseudo-static masters. Bible memorization where we house God's truth in our hearts, should be our goal. Today's bible apps and search engines have become a crutch that Christians use instead of remembering bible scripture. What an abrupt awakening to the truth that many readers will be confronted with.  The author explains how Jesus is the ultimate Static Jedi.

And just as there is a Jedi, and Jedi master, there are pseudo-static masters as well.  Anyone familiar with the bible's teaching about false teachers and luke-warm Christians will easily grasp this concept. This book wonderfully integrates modern concepts, culture and media- the very static that takes over our lives, in order to reveal the irony of our wasted lives. This clever approach will capture the attention of the reader and hold the attention of any Christian who feels his or her faith is washed out.
This is a book to be read and re-read.  Though written in a graphic, reader friendly interface with bold sub titles, Twitter tweet like excerpts and hashtags and bullet points, the truths contained in this book require  multiple readings to be absorbed.  This book looks like a quick read, but really isn't.  It deserves meditation and time to fully digest its truth.  The brief, yet poignant questions at the end of each chapter encourage the reader to journal and meditate on the important spiritual truths.

As a blogger for the Booketeria I received this book published by Passio for the purpose of writing this review.

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