Live Your Truth is a follow up book to Childer’s Another Gospel? in which she exposed the lies of progressive Christianity. This volume addresses a dozen other popular lies that have infiltrated our culture, including our Christian culture via popular authors, influencers, social media, and pop-psychology. These are the kinds of lies that many have unquestionably embraced without examining their source or filtering them through Scripture. Childers does an excellent job of not only identifying these descriptions and tracing their sources but also presenting the truth found in Scripture that counter-balance the lies.
Childers sets the direction of Live Your Truth when she writes,
“Reader, I’m going to make a bold claim. I think that ditching the jargon and clinging to the timeless truths of the Bible is the most freeing and stabilizing thing we can do. It will ease anxiety, quell depression, and calm a restless heart. Recognizing who we are in Christ is the ultimate self-care because the Word of God doesn’t reinvent itself along with a constantly changing culture. In fact, you should know at the outset that I wrote this book with the assumption that the Bible is authoritative for our lives (p. 6). Mostly, though, it’s a book about planting our feet on the bedrock of God’s truth… truth that doesn’t evolve with cultural trends (p. 7).”
Chapter two presents critical reasons why it is easy to be deceived in our present world, including redefinition of words such as tolerance (pp. 11, 22-25, 81, 82) and “linguistic thieves that undermine real communication” (pp. 12-13). In addition, social media spreads common lies at blazing speed, and each lie has its starting point in the self rather than Scripture (p. 16).
Chapters three through twelve are dedicated to particular lies that have wormed their way into our society, and often into our churches:
Chapter 3 Live Your Truth
Chapter 4 You Are Enough
Chapter 5 You Should Put Yourself First
Chapter 6 Authenticity is Everything
Chapter 7 You Only Have One Life
Chapter 8 God Just Wants You to Be Happy
Chapter 9 You Shouldn’t Judge
Chapter 10 You Are the Boss of You
Chapter 11 It’s All About Love
Chapter 12 Girl Power is Real Power
Drawing from The Green Ember, Childers reminds the reader that we can choose what we believe, but we cannot change what is true (p. 19). Yet as Pascal wrote, “People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive” (p. 134). In essence this book is a picture of how easy it is to be deceived. “Satan,” after all, “doesn’t change his tactics—he just adjusts them to the times” (p. 175). Perhaps on purpose, just to show how easy it is to be deceived, Childers offers “How to be deceived in five easy steps,” and then give us seven (p. 175). Whether she is playing with her readers or is bad at math, either way, she is correct to say, “When it comes to deception, the best lies contain so much truth” (p. 173).
Some of the most successful deceivers today, at least on the popular level, are popular women bloggers, authors, and speakers. Childers quotes repeatedly from three; below is a sample from each:
Glennon Doyle in Untamed: “Maybe Eve was never meant to be our warning. Maybe she was meant to be our model. Own your wanting. Eat the apple” (p. 176).
Rachel Hollis in Girl Wash Your Face: “I’m a big fan of displaying visuals inside my closet door to remind me every single day of what my aim is. Currently taped to my door: the cover of Forbes featuring self-made female CEOs, a vacation house in Hawaii . . . and a picture of Beyoncé, obvi.”
Jen Hatmaker in Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire: “I am exactly enough” and “You deserve goodness” (p. 46).
Childers reminds the reader that our identity is who the Bible tells us we are (p. 87), not who we think or feel we are. She concludes the book with three practical tips for living the truth of the gospel in a culture at odds with Christianity: know the real thing, be willing to suffer in the small things, and be committed to truth no matter what (pp. 192-202).
Live Your Truth is an excellent resource and a great follow up to her first book, Another Gospel (see my review here: https://tottministries.org/another-gospel-a-lifelong-christian-seeks-truth-in-response-to-progressive-christianity/).
by Alisa Childers (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale Momentum, 2022), 217 pp., paper, $13.80
Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Southern View Chapel