The Crime of Living Cautiously by Luci Shaw is a book about taking the necessary risks to have a truly fulfilling walk with Christ. People tend to go with what is easy, but the Christian walk is not always about being comfortable. Through this book, Shaw wishes to challenge readers to step out and start living more dangerously for Christ. The problem is, her presentation is cluttered and her directions are rather ambiguous.
Shaw asks readers to find where God is calling them and to pursue that, even when the result is unclear. I like that theme. Regrettably, this volume seems to be a “dumping ground” for endless numbers of Shaw’s poems, many of which stray from the message presented in the title of this book. To this reviewer, they come across as “filler.” She also provides some stories and then lots of discussion questions, further padding the book. As a poet, a public speaker, an editor, a wife, and a mother, this author has experienced many challenging situations and is determined to help everyone else face their own. It’s a shame she couldn’t have targeted more directly-applicable life lessons so that the readers would see how she has lived dangerously, what the benefits of it were, and how others could do likewise. That, indeed, would have been a fascinating book.
“What do you do when faced with a moment of both opportunity and danger?” is Shaw’s challenge to her readers. Her book is about embracing the hazards that come up in everyday lives. They may come up in the form of a changed relationship, a new career, or even just in managing a family. Real life examples help readers notice things in their own lives they may need to be pursuing.
When you pick this book up, the title grabs your attention; unfortunately, that is the only thing about this book that will. Shaw’s examples, instead of helping the reader understand her points, cause confusion because of limited relevance. Today’s readers want obvious applications, such as those found in books such as The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson and The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Taken in short readings, Shaw’s book may provide meditative moments, but overall it lacks the drive and intensity needed to motivate people to live more dangerously. -- Alyssa Curry, Christian Book Previews.com
Unexpectedly, the moment of opportunity comes to us--the prospect of entering a reality larger than we'd guess. A spacious option opens up before us, an urgent demand that seems to call for special enterprise, life-threatening perils or summons to action. Suddenly we realize that such a chance might never come again.
What do you do when faced with such a moment? Do you sometimes get frozen into a state of inaction? Do you wonder if you are wasting the talents God has given you? Or if you enjoy adventure, do you struggle over whether a risk is just a reckless attempt to feed your own needs or a true calling from God?
Luci Shaw has learned to act with discernment in regard to motivation and calling. She has discovered a path of deep joy and fulfillment by risking the unknown in partnership with God. In this book you will find the way to break through the fear barrier and follow God to new levels.