Friday, August 2, 2013

Book Review: Open by Craig Gross

OPEN: What Happens When You Get Real, Get Honest, and Get Accountable by Craig Gross

Craig Gross, creator of x3Watch, has added to the conversation on accountability in his new book, Open.  The book is neatly broken down into three sections.  The first section deals with why we all need accountability in our lives.  Then he discusses what accountability is and what it is not.  Then he addresses basic principles on how to get the most out of accountability relationships.  The book is an easy read and is filled with real life stories of people who failed for lack of accountability, as well as examples of how
accountability has been used to change lives.  The reader should be aware that, because of Gross’ primary ministry of dealing with sexual sin, some of the subject matter may not be appropriate for all readers.  Though he never gets anywhere near graphic, you still may not be comfortable allowing your junior high children to read it before you have read it first, at least.    

I was very curious about what this book would be like.  Accountability seems to have been a Christian buzz word in the 1990’s in response to Promise Keepers.  However, I think a lot of people were ultimately let down by the accountability boom of the 90’s.  It became little more than legalism in disguise.  Or, asking generic enough questions to never really address issues.  If serious issues were discussed, they were met with “I know what you’re going through.”  Certainly, this was still a positive season for men in the Church.  However, these groups never really addressed the heart issues behind sinful behaviors.  Craig Gross is inviting people to true and deep accountability where we not only deal with external behaviors, but also address the heart issues behind those actions. 

Because of the nature of Gross’ ministry, it seems like he wanted to make this book something that could help Christians and non-Christians alike.  In the end, what was left out was the need for the power of the Holy Spirit to set us free from sinful and addictive behaviors.  If he added that element, this would have been a home run book.  Everything he covers is useful and practical and fills in the gaps left empty in the accountability structures of the 1990’s.  But if the reader takes the principles of this book and adds the element of the Holy Spirit and spiritual disciplines, I believe this is a book that could revitalize accountability relationships in the Body of Christ.

Before reading this book, I wasn’t really familiar with Gross or his ministry.  This review is based only on the content of this book.  I do not know enough to give any positive or negative comment on Gross or his ministry.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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