"SUN STAND STILL", by Steven Furtick

"Sun Stand Still", by Steven Furtick, is an attempt to inspire his readers to exercise what he calls "audacious faith", citing Joshua 10 as his proof text.  Early in the title, Furtick tells his readers that he hopes this book will ignite in them the motivation to "activate" their faith.  In my opinion, the book falls short of being inspiring on the grandiose scale he hoped.  I had greater expectations for this book.  Unfortunately, I found it quite lame.

-- I couldn't help but get the feeling the Furtick is very proud of himself (which comes off as arrogance) for having one of the largest churches in Charlotte, North Carolina.  In the prologue, he wrote of a conversation he had with one of his good friends while attending a U2 concert in the arena that would one day be home to Elevation Church.  Within the conversation which the book it seems that fame and praise were his strong motivators to establish Elevation.  When his dream to build a large, popular, cool church came true, he was able to call it "audacious faith" and use it as the springboard for this title. I wonder if he would have been inspired to write "Sun Stand Still" if he had not seen his "dream come true" and found himself preaching to only one hundred.

-- On a theological level, one has to deal with the confusion of "saving faith" and "activating audacious faith" throughout the title.  While Furtick writes in one area of the book that "audacious faith is not based on who you are or what you can do...[but is] based on who God is..." (p.120), he then writes in another area, "Sometimes -- a lot of times -- it goes that way.  Faith works.  Prayers produce." (p.137)  The questions that emerged to me were these: Is he saying my faith does all the working? or does God do it? Can my faith itself do anything?  Is he actually teaching people to have more faith in faith, or faith in God?

While I know this is not Furtick's intent in this book, it comes across to readers (dare I say, especially new believers) that prized outcomes have as much to do with our activating audacious faith as they do with God's sovereign control.  The message comes across so strongly in the book that he even writes a "critical clarification" on p. 40 so the reader isn't too confused: "We are saved by grace through faith in Christ -- period.  Don't look at the challenge to act in audacious faith as an add-on to this saving faith.  It's a call to press deeper into that faith, until it becomes more and more effective in your everyday life."

-- On the flip side of the coin, I never read anything without taking at least a crumb with me that's worthwhile.  I was at the very least challenged to examine my own faith, and whether it was truly a living faith at all.  Do I live a life where people see that I have my hope and faith in the only One who is truly faithful? or do they see me misplacing my faith in my employment, the economy, or even my family?

-- The only chapter I would really recommend from this book is 13: "When the Sun Goes Down."  It addresses the reality that "audacious faith doesn't mean your prayers work every time.  It means that God is working even when your prayers don't seem to be working at all."  (There's that "working" theme working, prayers working, etc.)  I think this sole chapter will align readers to the fact that faith is confidence in God and His character, not in what He can do for you or in hope that your dreams will become reality.  It aligns readers to the fact that even when things aren't going well for you, you can still trust that God is sovereign and in complete control of every situation in life.

-- Conclusion: If you can't already tell, I wasn't too impressed with "Sun Stand Still".  I've even listened to Elevation Church's podcast where Furtick preached a three-part series by the same title as the book.  My impressions mentioned here were reinforced.  I know he is exited and passionate about the subject, and for having the courage to write a book about such a difficult theological topic as faith, I give him credit where it is due.  However, I wouldn't have read much further than the first couple chapters if this book wasn't free.  And since I promised to review it, I forced myself to read it from cover to cover.  If I had to buy it, though, I wouldn't.  But I might pick it up at a garage sale.

2 out of 5 stars.

I received this compimentary copy of "Sun Stand Still" from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers to provide an unbiased review and post it to my blog.  I am not compensated for my review, and am not obligated to provide a positive review.  The opinions in this article are mine.


  1. I really enjoyed your review of this book. I found it because of the comment you left on my blog. I ended up giving the book 4 stars because basically he was Biblically accurate, and I have read other books on faith that have been way off base, so for that I gave it 4 stars. I agree that I was disappointed and that Ch.13 was a great chapter. I had expected more from the book based on the hype I had read beforehand. It did however make me think about the ways I limit God and if I am able to bring my "impossibles" to Him. I really didn't like the term "audacious" being used so much, it reminded me of Barak Obama.

  2. Given your glimpse into the book and what I see, I doubt that it will make my to read this year list. But I do appreciate your questions in the end of the 5th paragraph here. I deeply desire to answer "yes" to these two questions.

  3. I just finished my own preview copy of this book. It's like you and I were thinking the same things.

    The book is not 'basically biblically accurate.' Chapter 13 was the best chapter. Furtick is a little full of himself.

    I also rated this with 2 stars at Multnomah.


  4. Jerry, I'm glad others saw it, too. I initially wondered if I was reading too much into it. I think not, though. I'll check out your review on your site. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Lauren Reynolds12:19 PM

    I hate how christians these days are soo against each other:/

    I'm 17 and currently reading his book. Furtick has a huge Impact on my life. I've gotten so close to God do to my church Elevation.

    I don't worship him. I just wish everyone would get as long as people are coming to Christ we should be happy and not judge other christians

  6. Lauren, I appreciate your feedback. I'm very glad that God has a grip on your life at a young age. "Fan into flame the gift of God which is in you!" Please don't mistake critique with being "soo against" one another.

    Please please dig into God's Word and think very critically and very carefully about the teachings you hear...FROM ANY PULPIT! Including the one you see every week. Don't simply accept what Steven says without checking it with God's Word.

    As far as being "soo against" other Christians. The Bible does not say, "never ever judge anything." We are expected to judge false from true doctrine, false from true teachers, false from true teachings, sheep from wolves, etc. We are not to judge another's salvation...which I did not do in this book review. I judged Steven's teachings in the book and after listening to the sermon series, which I think are Biblically unsound.

    The lyrics "Oh be careful little ears what you hear" don't just apply to the secular things around us. We must be careful about what we hear inside the church as well. It is a requirement of believers to guard the truth...protect it with zeal, just as you want to protect Elevation Church and Steven Furtick.

    I love you, sister! God bless your zeal!