ECHO: A Book Review
Jonathan Fisk is our generation’s teacher. His lively YouTube videos, social media presence and keen understanding of American culture—and it’s clutch on our minds—makes him the ideal person to repackage and retell the fundamental truths of the Gospel. That’s tricky in a day and age marked by distraction.
Fisk manages well.
This is not a book for unbelievers (they are directed to Fisk’s first book, Broken). This is a book for believers, specifically believers who have strayed, stagnated or feel stumped on how they are to behave in a world gone insane.
The opening will catch you off guard. Where the aim of contemporary pop psych books is to make you feel special, talented and deserving of all that is good and well, this book will not. In the opening, Fisk assures the reader this book is not about you, entirely. You are still part of this story, but not in the manner we’ve come to expect in a world where everyone can have a platform, stage, presence or voice. One place where Fisk doesn’t upset cultural expectations is that you will get what you deserve: the unvarnished truth.
Fisk serves up this truth in five interesting parts that include The Ten Important Things about Creation, the Three Elements of the Gospel and the Seven Edges of Christian Holification (another word for sanctification). This arrangement is not intuitive nor obvious. It is Fisk’s logic. Logic that concludes soundly, just not convinced we would all take the same path to get there.
Another advantage to reading Echo: the presentation is fresh. For the scanners, quirky diagrams, drawings and multiple pull quotes on just about every page catch the eye and tease the reader into the text. Common idioms
like “getting your sea legs” and Fisk’s turn of phrases like “the fellow-shape of believers” are everywhere as well.
As far as we can tell, Fisk doesn’t pattern the arrangement of the book after the Ten Commandments or the Small Catechism, which given the title of the book Echo, would make sense. Echo means “repeat” or “sound again,” and working backward gives us the word “catechesis,” our preferred method of training Christians in our religion.
While the Lutheran Confessions encourages us to “teach these things daily” I can’t imagine reading this book more than once. Not because it is a bad book, but, clocking in at 326 pages, it’s a hefty read. Knocking out a chapter a day—highlighter and pencil in hand—would be the ideal approach to mining this rich text.