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Customer Reviews for B&H Books Embracing Obscurity - eBook

B&H Books Embracing Obscurity - eBook

Average Customer Rating:
4.182 out of 5
4.2
 out of 
5
(11 Reviews) 11
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10 out of 1191%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Embracing Obscurity - eBook
Review 1 for Embracing Obscurity - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

OMG....all believers need to read this book!!

Date:February 15, 2014
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Anonymous
Location:North Dakota
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
What an amazing truth that this book reveals in this world of titles, position and riches....even in our churches! No wonder our churches look no difference then the world. Read it....chew on the meanings that God might have for you and your life. This book is thought provoking, indeed!! It magnified my awareness of the simple message of the Gospel and what Jesus commanded, "Love God and love others as yourself"... Allowing God to examine our motives and owning what comes out of that examination is nothing short of life changing. Exalting Him in all we do....out of the love we have for Him takes a lot of surrender & decreasing in "worldly status". Loved it and will order many for friends and family.
0points
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Review 2 for Embracing Obscurity - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Intriguing

Date:December 23, 2013
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ruthhill74
Location:Yelm, WA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Well, I think the name of this book honestly does speak for itself. And it is indeed a "stroke of genius" that we don't even know who the author is. It fits the very thing this book proposes--do not seek any glory for yourself. True humility is what is expected of the Christian, and this book certainly made me think. This is not an easy nor popular lesson, but it is vital to the Christian walk.
I found myself not connecting with the book as well as I normally do, and I think the main reason is that this issue is not one with which I normally struggle. I'm not trying to hold myself up as one who never struggles with the issue of pride, but this is not as a big issue for me as other Christian issues (that I won't detail here). I also felt that some of the book was a little one-sided, but I understand why. So often, Christian books do focus on the "Joseph principle" and that suffering leads to reward. I think it is important that the concept that possibly God's desire is for Christians to serve in obscurity is detailed in this book no matter how unpopular that topic is.
I love the fact that this is written as a small-group Bible study, and I think this is the best way to go through this book. Countless Scripture and personal stories are provided as evidence and proof of the blessings of living the way this book suggests. I completely agree with this often over-looked subject, and I think every Christian could stand to read this and determine how God would have him/her live. And although I do not currently struggle with this issue, it is good to bear in mind and watch that I do not veer off my current path and find myself looking for recognition in the wrong places.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
0points
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Review 3 for Embracing Obscurity - eBook
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Typical Christian pap and dribble !!

Date:July 17, 2013
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Designer
Location:Alberta Canada
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Unfortunately this small book does not live up to its title. Written by someone who admits to not having many of their own troubles in life but somehow feels like it was necessary to write on such a topic as this. It is full of an emotional type of pleading and void of any real substance to 'take home'. If one aspires to write these types of stories then it would be of greatest value for them to suffer terribly then write out of the emotion that comes from that state.
Finally, the study questions are as hollow as the main body of the book.....typical self centred naval gazing questions that seem to produce no real results. It all seems to be wrapped around the person who wants to 'experience' more for the sake of their own thinly disguised spiritual ego.
+1point
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Review 4 for Embracing Obscurity - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Radical message but very real problem

Date:October 10, 2012
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Bob Hayton
Location:St. Paul, MN
Age:25-34
Gender:male
I don’t remember the last time I saw a recently published book with the author’s name given as Anonymous. In Christian circles as much as in your average secular bookstore or website, nothing seems to be as prominent as the author’s name. The more well known the author, the larger space is devoted to his or her name on the book cover. But with a title like "Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything," the absence of an author name seems appropriate. Still, I searched through the book looking for any hint of the author’s identity, half expecting it would be there somewhere. My search was in vain, as the author of this challenging book has embraced its controversial message heart and soul.
The back cover of the book encapsulates its message well with these words: “I hate to break it to you, but you’re not one in a million. In fact, you’re more like one in nearly seven billion. Just one. One life, lived in relative obscurity.” The next line is even more challenging: “Are you okay with that?” Everything about the American dream with its make-your-own-man, you-can-be-anything, do-it-yourself “gospel,” screams the opposite. You are special. One of a kind! And even Christian leaders and authors trumpet the self-esteem, “be your best self now” message. I imagine many who are reading this right now aren’t so sure Mr. Anonymous is making any sense. Doesn’t the Bible teach that we are all God’s special and unique creations?
Anonymous is aiming at the pride and self-reliance which lurks just under the surface of our outwardly Christian lives. The author points out the role that “sub-titles” play in our lives: you know, the extra details we use to fill in someone’s understanding of us when we introduce ourselves. “Hi, I’m Bob, a well-known Christian blogger and father of six.” Such sub-titles function as a way to: “[M]ake others think I’m a somebody. That I matter. That I’m going places. I’m itching for admiration, respect, and yes, jealousy” (pg. 21). The point is not to eschew any titles but rather to not let worldly pursuits define you, or pride rule you.
The book hammers away at Philippians 2:5-11 and the example that our humble King set for us, in the way of humility. And it calls us to find our true significance not in what we can do, but in who we are by grace. Our significance is in being able to make much of Jesus as his creation, his joint-heir, his bride, etc.
The world’s attitude to success contrasts sharply with a Biblical view of true prosperity. Yet too often, worldly standards shape us and even shape the church. Anonymous explains:
"I don’t think we realize how far we’ve come in imitating the world’s tenets of success or just how dangerous that is. I’m shocked at how easily my friends, family, church, and I have swallowed the lie–hook, line, and sinker–that true fulfillment will greet them on the other side of a PhD and a six-figure income, through a romantic comedy-esque love story, or even through leading a prominent ministry. I’m alarmed at how pride and self-promotion are permeating Christian leadership and how it seems to be seeping down the ranks: to you, to me, to our kids, and throughout our congregations." (pg. 75-76)
He moves on to focus on how servanthood should characterize us as Christians. And how very unpopular this is even among Christian ministries today. He brings up what he calls “the Joseph principle” too, when it comes to suffering. This is the idea that God is using suffering to prepare me for something mind-blowingly big. God has something better for me. But while Romans 8:28 (“All things work together for the good of those who love God…”) is true, the notion that God has something tangibly good in a worldly sense for our future isn’t necessarily the case. Anonymous asks “Will you still trust God if your ‘good’ is to go on embracing obscurity–living in simplicity and devotion to Him–your entire life?… Would you mind if your ‘good’ is only a greater understanding of the suffering Jesus went through on your behalf and mine?” (pg. 118-119).
He goes on to talk about embracing the “mystery.” Our lives and choices should seem crazy to unbelievers. “Is my life mysterious?” the author asks. “Or do I live, love and lust like the rest of the world?” (pg. 129). He brings up the example of NFL running back Glen Coffee who walked away from football after one season, because he wanted to follow God’s call on his life. Is that mysterious or what?
The book ends with a look at how to use public notoriety for Christ, when it comes unexpectedly. And how our embracing of obscurity really earns for us an eternal weight of glory in the age to come.
This book packs a punch but is written in a conversational, easy-to-read tone. It is chuck full of down-to-earth illustrations and personal vignettes. The stories of numerous individuals give meat to the skeletal principles discussed, and flesh out what it means to embrace obscurity. The book is not overly long, but the message isn’t light and trivial, so taking one’s time reading and praying through the book would be ideal. Discussion questions are included for each chapter making this perfectly suited for a small group or Sunday school.
As a Christian blogger, this book is especially convicting. I need to focus more on why I do what I do, and need to also look for the pride which so easily hides behind anything we do. I highly recommend this book and trust it will have a wide influence. The message is radical but the problem is real. "Embracing Obscurity" calls us to reexamine what it means to live life as strangers and pilgrims, just passing through this world on our way home.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Brodman & Holman Publishing. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
+3points
3of 3voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for Embracing Obscurity - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Anonymous gained my respect and intrigue.

Date:October 9, 2012
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Chicks with Choices
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I was contacted a few months ago from a marketing company promoting a book just released on October 1, 2012 titled, Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God's Everything.
The title grabbed my attention, but the author's choice to remain anonymous gained my respect and intrigue.
Incognito blows in the face of everything writers are forced to clamor toward today.
Without sounding too sacrilegious (because the book is surely Christ centered), this thorough consideration on personal obscurity throws a finger at platform building, Twitter numbers, blog readership, speaking engagements, sales; even the importance we feel toward how many "likes" we get on our crafty facebook posts.
For me, the book is like fresh wind after three hundred and fifty five days of humid filled, back busting labor in an attempt to build a "name" for myself; a nemesis I've wrestled with... a lot!
Although there are points I would argue with, this book has caused me to pause, wrestle further, question my own intentions and analyze my current walk with Jesus. For me, that is the mark of a good read and so for that alone I give the book four out of five stars.
Wrestling and analysis brings complexity.
Convoluted messages get lost, however, in this noisy world. All that I wish to say is too much to unravel within my average 500 word blog, so I'm choosing to spend three days in review of Embracing Obscurity. I am spending this time, not because it was requested of me, not because there is any kind of compensation (see disclosure at the end of my post), but because in everything I write it is my reader I have in mind.
+2points
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Review 6 for Embracing Obscurity - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

For all the somebodys, and all the nobodys

Date:September 30, 2012
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David RUpert
Location:Denver, Co
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
There’s something about this book that hit’s me wrong. But as much as I hate to admit it, it’s totally right.
The whole world right now is about getting noticed. If you are in business, just hunkering down and doing the work is no longer acceptable. There must be innovation, transformation and marketing of your idea. This is done in the boardroom all the way down to the boiler room.
Social media is all about standing out. We try to write clever Facebook status posts, hoping for “engagement” and likes. Twitter reposts are validation and the accumulation of friends and followers is the modern day treasure chest of status. Everyone is trying to be the loudest voice in a noisy world.
Embracing Obscurity is written by Anonymous. Right away I want to know the credibility of the writer, his theology, and his authority to speak truth. Just a few pages into the book and I’m realized that by looking at all of this first, I was missing the point on this book – and maybe my entire existence
Contrast this with Michael Hyatt’s book, “Platform: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World.”The CEO of Thomas Nelson gives all kinds of advice on how to stand above the crowd.
Embracing Obscurity encourages you to fly under the radar, to let others get the attention while you go about God’s work.
He admits, “The thought of being just one out of 100 billion people who have lived on this planet offends us.”
We all want to be somebody. Whether it’s an important opinion in the Bible study, a volunteer at the PTA, an innovator at work. If you are in the arts, you thrive on the cheers and adulation of those that admire your work.
But there are Scriptural exhortations by the dozens that remind us about the pride that precedes the fall, the first becoming last, and the fate of the proud. Why do we ignore them and press on with the deception that we need to be somebody to be anybody? This book should rattle ministries to the core with its thunderous message of less.
“We have a misguided search for significance – a quest for success, wealthy, notoriety, power, or be in some way, any way different,” the author writes. “When we accept that our value si not dependent on what we do or accomplish we are, ironically, liberated to do much for Christ.”
The book does more than just point out the consuming desire for attention. The author gives practical advice for keeping your head from swelling when the spotlight does find you, how to make a difference without calling attention to you as a person and how to grow to love the obscure life.
David
www.RedLetterBelievers.com
+4points
4of 4voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for Embracing Obscurity - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Embracing Obscurity

Date:September 28, 2012
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Cindy Navarro
Location:Cullman, AL
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
No matter how famous someone might be, the fact remains; most of the other seven billion people on Earth wouldn’t know him or her from the next person." ~ Anonymous
An established Christian author has chosen to remain unidentified to make a point about living a life that points others to Jesus rather than self in a new book called Embracing Obscurity. In a world where everyone wants to shine and be noticed by others, we do sometimes lose sight that Christians are called to glorify God, not ourselves. Would you choose to be a nobody. God chose to become nothing. Jesus lived in relative obscurity, and we are meant to become more like him. This isn't to say that fame is wrong, but how you use your fame makes a difference. The influence and impact we have on the lives of others should be focused on showing the way to God. Instead of trying to gain fame, perhaps you should embrace your obscurity.
It was an interesting book and one that did make me think. I know that I am part of a "Look at me!" culture, and it is easy to get caught up in wanting our own voice to be heard. But, how often do I use my tiny circle of influence to tell others about my hope in Jesus? I do, but not nearly as often as I should. And, while I am unknown to 99.99% of the world's population, it is tempting to draw attention to oneself. Or, since I do Social Media promotion, to others and their projects. So, I suggest that this would be a great book to help you examine your own motives and see if your priorities need to be tweaked. I certainly need to work on my own!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for Embracing Obscurity - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Book Review: "Embracing Obscurity" by Anonymous

Date:September 27, 2012
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vonchris7
Location:jacksonville, florida
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
WoW, a book written by "you don't know who"... Anonymous... Strange? Actually, perfectly fitting for this masterpiece!
I received a pre-release copy to review. This book is a reality to every follower of Jesus... that we're nothing in comparison to Him, and that we need to selflessly follow Him. And here's the best part: the book accomplishes this in a way that is relevant to our world today... and with a tone that makes me want to follow... and rock on!
Does this all sound strange to you?
Well, you'll probably find it even stranger that I tell you half way through the first chapter my bone-chilling thought... that God actually sent this book to ME!!! Like I needed it... maybe we all do. I certainly hope that you will pick this one up, it's a must read for EVERYONE. This book is like that sermon we walk into and have that gee wiz feeling the Pastor must have been reading our mind...
This book is chock full of wisdom...
"One of the greatest ironies of all time is that when we give up the hope of earthly fame and fortune, and instead embrace the obscurity of a life given in service to Christ, we are immediately touched with immortality and assured of eternal glory."
That stuff moves me... here's one more...
"Have you ever had one of those moments? A split second when the enormity of humanity pounds you into a pea-sized lump of insignificance? An occasion when a crowd leaves you feeling a little disillusioned and more than a little irrelevant? If not, look for one. As uncomfortable as is the prospect, unimportance is good for the soul."
Yep, good for the soul...
Check up on me later...
I'm going to go get lost in Obscurity now...
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
0points
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Review 9 for Embracing Obscurity - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An excellent read!

Date:September 27, 2012
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MarilynSue
Location:Kalamazoo. MI
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
An excellent read - what a challenge to those of us who live in a culture of "success", "self-realization", and "look at ME". To honestly look at oneself in light of what Jesus said and lived puts us in our place of "becoming nothing in light of God's everything".
At the same time, the author shows our significance and value is found in Jesus Christ, not in the world's view of us. His question that puts it in a capsule - "Will you walk worthy of the glorious gospel - even if no one ever knows your name?"
Definitely a book I will recommend and pass on to others.
0points
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Review 10 for Embracing Obscurity - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Soul Convicting

Date:September 24, 2012
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Pastor Greg
Location:Palmyra, PA
Age:45-54
Gender:male
I received an advanced reader copy of this book. The book’s marketer found me through my book review blog. I was sent a copy before it was made available to the public. I am proud that as a reviewer I received this book before anyone else.
The above statement makes me exactly the type of person who needs to read this book. It is about overcoming our pride problem. We all have one and this book will help you see that and hopefully overcome it by “Embracing Obscurity.”
The author confronts us with the reality that we are “just 1 in 7 billion.” By embracing obscurity the author means being content with being relatively unknown so that Christ can be made more known. Our time on earth will come and go but eternity is forever and it is for eternity we should live.
The key to obscurity’s embrace is finding our significance in Christ. When we find our significance in Christ “we are freed from our vanity and can instead fulfill God’s purposes for us” (p. 66). “To get to the place where we can truly embrace our obscurity, we’ll have to sacrifice our dreams of worldly success and instead take on this humble disposition…the disposition of Christ” (p. 85).
The author provides a very helpful contrast between Christ’s disposition of humility versus Satan’s disposition of pride (pp. 50-51). Modeling Jesus Christ is only way to embrace obscurity.
He warns of falling for “The Joseph Principle.” This is the dangerous misconception that
“If I am suffering in obscurity today, God must be preparing me for something greater, better, or more prominent later in life” (p. 116). “We comfort ourselves with this kind of self-talk because it’s far more soothing than the thought of suffering for the sole purpose of God’s glory or –heaven forbid- having to embrace obscurity indefinitely” (p. 118). We are prone to interpret the “all things for good” in Romans 8:28 to mean worldly success. “What if your good is soley to make His name great?” (p. 119).
Be forewarned, embracing obscurity will make you look crazy in the eyes of the world. “If our lifestyle doesn’t even raise the eyebrows of the world, what does that say about our devotion to the gospel?” (p. 129). For Christians to die to self, to put others first, to serve in obscurity is very mysterious to the rest of humanity.
“So how about us? Are we living mysteriously? Are our lives marked by service, sacrifice, love for others, abandonment of self, dependency on God, or genuine passion to see the lost saved? Or are we more preoccupied with the things of the world? A cool car or job? A retirement account? A higher education or some humanitarian work? Maybe even some noble things done but for the wrong reasons? Do any decisions in our lives seem mysterious to those around us? Without mystery we have to wonder whether we have embraced the ways of the Father or imitated the world” (p. 134).
This is a thought-provoking book. It caused me some severe introspection. As Christ followers, it asks us to consider if every opportunity for advancement should be undertaken, even those where there are no scriptures violated. I “humbly” give it my recommendation.
This book was provided by the publisher for review. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for Embracing Obscurity - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

This book will challenge your perspectives

Date:September 17, 2012
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AprilR
Location:Arizona
Age:35-44
Gender:female
What if you get everything you want only to find out it wasn’t enough? What do you do when you realize that you are still empty inside and the sacrifices you made along the way just weren’t worth the reward? If you had the opportunity to go back and take a different path, would you do it? In this book, Embracing Obscurity, an anonymous author shows us another way to embrace our lives. Upside down in the eyes of the world, we discover that the path to significance is found in obscurity. We are given a mirror with which to examine our true motivations in our quest for success, and pointed to the Bible to redefine our ideas of success and significance. We learn to look to Christ for lessons on humility, to put aside our pride and embrace the life God has chosen for us. Only when we give up our worldly desires will we be able to embrace our eternal significance. This book may make you uncomfortable, but it can change your life. Are you willing to give it a try?
0points
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