STYLE: Music Related RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 31184-BOK273 LABEL: 9780883688045 FORMAT: Book General book RRP: £6.99
Reviewed by Mark Lawrence
Written by Grammy Award winning artist Israel, A Deeper Level sets out to take the reader on a journey of intimacy into a deeper level of relationship and experience of God. Interspersed with personal testimonies and insights from members of Israel's band, New Breed, the book tackles themes such as overcoming obstacles, worship and justice and what it actually means to go deeper in our experience of God. The book practically helps the reader by including a few study questions at the end of each chapter to allow time for reflection and to record notes on, for example, personal steps needed to overcome fear and destructive habits. I must admit that as I read this book, well intentioned that it is, I felt uneasy. There are so many 'self-help' books available in the Christian market-place that focus on the individual and the individual's relationship with an individual God. It is important to spend time in intimacy and getting right before God but we are created to be in community, to love in community and to worship God through being in relationship and community. The top-heavy emphasis of individuality in books such as A Deeper Level can cause us to become more inward looking and become more and more a part of the individualistic society and culture that we already inhabit here in the West. If you like your ten-step plans then there is something for you in this book but I would suggest a note of caution whilst reading it.
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In A Deeper Level, Israel Houghton encourages readers to let go of their routine lifestyles in order to experience a new reality in Christ. He urges members of the body to passionately pursue the heart of God by addressing the things that are dear to Him, such as feeding the poor and bringing about social change.
In addition to Israel’s personal insights, members of the New Breed team include their thoughts on
topics such as pulling down idols, being ever aware of God’s presence, and embracing new mind-sets.
The book also includes colour images of band members and lyrics from the new CD. “When you come to live in the comforting, encouraging presence of God on a daily basis, it builds your confidence and faith in who He has made you to be. It is just so obvious to me that we haven’t even scratched the surface of what is available for us within the constant presence of God.” Israel Houghton.
A Deeper Level is the heart of Israel Houghton and New Breed. Each chapter is presented with
a practical, down-to-earth, candid conversational style for which Israel Houghton has become
affectionately known. Throughout A Deeper Level Israel proves that worship is not just music. It is a lifestyle.