Embracing Obscurity by Anonymous
Anonymous. Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing In Light of God’s Everything. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishing Group, 2012. 224 pp. $12.99. Purchase at Amazon for less.
There is not much of an introduction as this is pretty straight-forward. Since the book is about obscurity the author chose to remain nameless. I somehow think this author will succeed more so than “Mark Owen” since his (I may use he or she as the author could be either male or female) message is one that will not want to be heard by the rest of the world. For what it is worth, I could recognize the “voice” of the author as one that is fairly familiar but was unable to pin point it. Regardless, I did not try very hard, nor would I recommend you doing the same–suffice it to say that the author will succeed in remaining anonymous.
Divided into ten chapters over 224 pages, the author begins by showing the reader just how obscure we all truly are when looking at the bigger picture. After chapter one, each chapter begins with “embracing” and rightly so. The author challenges us to embrace the definition of obscurity and then to take a step back and actually reflect on the humbleness of our King.
He then moves us to embrace our significance (hint: it is not of this world) and to understand our true significance. We are next directed to embrace servanthood (definitely a difficult topic for most–I’m no different) and to embrace suffering.
Finally, we are guided to embrace the mystery of the Christian life and to understand what it means to be in the spotlight. The last chapter directs us to embrace the hope that is only found in Christ.
First, let me say that it really stands out when reading the endorsements that in order to get the book out about embracing security, the author needed men and women who are well known. That is, they are not necessarily obscure.
Second, to further get the word out, I, one of the least of the many book reviewers out there!, was contacted to read and review the work on our various platforms. All that to say, that the subject of obscurity is a very difficult subject to talk about without feeling like a hypocrite.
That being said, Anonymous did a very good job of maintaining his or her integrity on this subject matter. There are many times where I had to put the book down and ask myself the same hard questions this author is asking. Page after page, I was personally challenged to live my life for Christ and His kingdom rather than myself and my kingdom.
While the work challenges and exhorts and rebukes on nearly every page, it does so with the love of a pastor, Christian, author who is being challenged himself by the very doctrine he is calling the rest of us to embrace. This is not a light matter. His passion for Christ is on every page.
Sure, there are books about working for the kingdom and there are books about being a servant-minded Christian. I have not read many books (have I read any?) that exhort us to seek obscurity in order that we may make Christ known more. In this digital age where everyone has a voice because of social media and blogs (yes, this includes me!), we must really strive to know that our hearts are desperately wicked and that our motives are rarely pure (if ever!).
Read Embracing Obscurity and be challenged to make more of Christ by truly making less of yourself. If you do read this book, and I highly recommend you do, do so with a pen in one hand and a Bible at the ready. You will be writing much and realizing at the same time that there is much room for improvement in your life to make more of Christ.