Discerning Reader Editorial Review
Reviewed 01/20/2009 by Tim Challies.
Recommended. Don't be fooled by the cover.
There may be some who will get no further than the cover or even the title of Take Charge of Your Life. There on the cover is the smiling face of the author, rather a rarity for a book that is actually worth reading. And that title sounds like it may just be the title of a book by Dr. Phil or Joel Osteen. And yet at the top are these words by John MacArthur: “Superb…Prepare yourself for a study that is at once challenging and uplifting.” It seems a study in contradictions. Yet behind the cover and behind the title is a solid book, a very good book, that will challenge any reader, believer or unbeliever alike.
If you think Ganz has written something a little bit like this before, you’re both right and wrong. In its opening pages he writes, “Take Charge of Your Life is what I had hoped a previous book, The Secret of Self-Control (Crossway 1998), could have been, but wasn’t.” This new book, he promises, “will show you a revolutionary way of life. You are about to enter the world of power-charged, super-charged, God-charged, Take-Charge living.” By carefully describing what he calls a Take-Charge life, he teaches how any person can live the life God intends for him.
In Take Charge of Your Life, Ganz deliberately takes the words, the look, the feel of a self-help book and permeates it all with Christian meaning. His constant exhortation is to live a take-charge life - or, to use the words of Scripture, to work out your salvation. It is a book about sanctification, about living a life for God’s glory, about living a life that is distinctly Christian in its emphases and in its characteristics. He divides the book into six sections: The Start of a Take-Charge Life, the Heart of a Take-Charge Life, The Action of a Take Charge Life, the Challenges of a Take-Charge Life, The Mentality of a Take-Charge Life, and The Extent of a Take Charge-Life. Through them all he leads the reader from Christian infancy to Christian maturity. He does so by appealing constantly to Scripture. As the long-serving pastor of a church that is part of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, he does so in a way consistent with sound theology.
It has long been my observation that when the face of the author is on the book’s cover, more often than not, the book’s pages offer lots of the author and little Scripture. Take Charge of Your Life is a great exception. But don’t take only my word for it. Derek Thomas, Professor Systematic and Practical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary declares it “a winning combination. It helps reform and strengthen biblical Christian discipleship. It is solid yet accessible. Highly recommended.” Jay Adams says “Rich Ganz has done it again! With his biblically-oriented pen, Rich Ganz, in Take Charge of Your Life shows us how to live in a way that is pleasing to God. As has been true of all of his other books, once again, what he has written, will be a real blessing to many. It is my pleasure to highly commend his work to you. Read and be blessed.”
This is a unique book and one that has a lot to offer. I recommend it to you. I believe it can be particularly useful to those who are drawn to this genre, this format, of book. Get past the title, get past the cover if those trouble you, and you’ll find a deeply challenging book inside.