Review: Your God is too Safe, by Mark Buchanan

Your God is Too Safe, by Mark Buchanan (Multnomah, 2001)

In a day where many teachers either speak in “academic-ese” or dumb down their language, Mark Buchanan’s writing is a refreshing treat, comparable with Philip Yancey. What sets his books apart from other life-changing works is the beauty of the language. The images and descriptions are fresh, original and strong.

Your God is Too Safe is subtitled “Rediscovering the Wonder of a God You Can’t Control.” It opens with a candid look at life in “borderland”—that place where many of us get stuck, saved but slow of heart and unfruitful. The second half of the book calls us to life in the “holy wild.” Here Rev. Buchanan offers practical steps to take if we’re willing to risk walking with a God who is not safe but is good.

The book stresses the value of holy habits, often called spiritual disciplines. These are to be God-ward habits, not legalistic rules; practices that develop into new life patterns. Holy habits lead to practicing the presence of God through worship, expectancy, confession, solitude, fasting, reading Scripture, servanthood, prayer and celebration.

I appreciated the author’s honesty about real people’s struggles, his own included. We can all relate to the section on borderland, having been there. We can leave borderland for the holy wild, and Mark Buchanan’s words instil within us a longing to do so.

Mark Buchanan is a pastor in British Columbia, and one of my favourite Canadian authors. Your God is Too Safe was his first book, published in 2001. Since then he’s written Things Unseen: Living in the Light of Forever, The Holy Wild, The Rest of God, and Hidden in Plain Sight. Each one has blessed me as I’ve read it.

You can learn more about Mark Buchanan and his books at his website. Your God is Too Safe is available in trade paperback, audio or e-book from Chapters-Indigo, trade paperback and audio book from, and trade paperback only from and You can also order it through your local bookstore.

— trade paperback and audio book

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