Book Review: A Cry in the Wilderness by Keith Green

This is a review of A Cry in the Wilderness by Keith Green.
This is a review of A Cry in the Wilderness by Keith Green. This book, A Cry in the Wilderness, was released in 1993, through Sparrow Press, and features twelve messages from Keith Green about what it means to live an uncompromising faith. Released posthumously, by his wife (Melody Green), A Cry in the Wilderness compiles together some of Keith’s messages about an uncompromising faith.

I grew up on the music of Keith Green, and early on in my spiritual search and journey, I read many of his thoughts. Over the years, I have read and reread his books many times. Keith was an individual of unbridled passion, unwavering commitment, and endless youthfulness. These traits and characteristics make him an encouragement to read, as the light of the spirit and the power of God’s scripture will come alive to you, influencing you to carefully examine our intentions, life, and commitment to Jesus. That same call to examine our intentions, life, and commitment to Jesus is present in and throughout A Cry in the Wilderness.

If you are reading Keith for the first time, each of his books are different, and for me it is important to realize that Keith is a musician, prophetic witness, and pastoral leader much more than an author. However, his appreciative simple approach to writing - more so evident in A Cry in the Wilderness - is simply inspiring and does not hinder his passion and pastoral teaching. There are twelve messages in this book about having a bold and uncompromising faith. This books makes sure we are (1) following the right gospel, (2) producing the fruit in our life from repentance, (3) considering our rights dead, (4) equipped to stand against the enemy, (5) building a fire of holiness in our life, (6) listening for the higher call, (7) accepting our suffering and trials, (8) walking in step with God’s light, (9) praying as a servant, (10) having faith that can conquer over cultural worldliness, (11) being aware of spiritual coldness, and (12) accurately proclaiming Jesus as Lord. As the back of the book reads, “Like a prophet’s words, [Keith’s writing] strike sword-like at lukewarmness and self-centered living. And with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel, they restore life and health to the spirit.”[1] In A Cry in the Wilderness, you will both be prophetically challenged and encouraged.

In my latest reading of this favorable read, A Cry in the Wilderness, I took note of many encouragements that stood out, challenged, and inspired me. Life has an incredible way of wearing us down over the years. Over the years our commitment may not waver, but our passion, hope and trust may. Though Keith left this earth before he faced and experienced the threats and throes of aging and living through continued disappointment, his youthfully passionate messages of faith still inspire us to greater surrender, trust, and hope. Throughout this book, Keith continues to challenge us to remember and own that “each of us must take responsibility before God to keep our eyes on the gospel. We can’t allow anything or anyone to distract or mislead us.”[2] As a follower of Jesus, surrender and trust becomes a big hurdle in our faith, and we must face that for many of us “it’s easy to give up [our] wrongs – but much harder to give up [our] rights.”[3] Keith presents us with a vision of faith that reminds us that “the true gospel challenges us at every turn. It unsettles us. It requires things of us that hurt.”[4] Accurately, Keith challenges us that we have made the message of salvation too easy.[5]

Though written in a different era and context, there are plenty of challenges for the church today. Green accurately points out that the church today has misplaced zeal. He reflects that “there are four ways Christians commonly misused their zeal. They are fighting for causes that aren’t God’s causes, judging others, arguing over the Bible, and seeking blessings more than the Giver of those blessings.”[6] As I look around at a church who has become syncretized with political gain, polarizing faith, convictional division and a prosperity gospel – I cannot help put feel his challenge must be heard today. This misplaced zeal is a sign of spiritual immaturity.[7] It is also based in the fact that “so much of our Christianity is based on wanting to feel good.”[8] As we are called to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, the way, we must remind ourselves on what those steps lead through. As Keith points out, “some people think that Christ’s suffering means only His death and on the cross. But Jesus suffered through His whole life on earth.”[9] I am encouraged through this latest reading to “be the visible, smellable, touchable, tastable expression of God to others” that Jesus called us to be as his followers.[10]

Prayer is our sustaining lifeline to God’s Spirit and God, but it is detrimental to our spiritual formation when hindered. Throughout this book, Keith encourages us to have a heart that is soft with love for God.[11] Even more, Keith reminds us that there are two significant hinderances that will become detrimental to our prayers, selfishness, and stinginess. Green proclaims that “selfishness robs prayer of all power.”[12] He also points out how “stinginess hinders prayer.”[13] In this call to a passionate faith, we are called to discover our motives, and “to pray with pure motives, [to] remember the true purpose of prayer.”[14]

As a book, A Cry in the Wilderness is a read that I highly recommend to individuals looking for a reflective book to reignite the passion in their life and faith. Keith models a life and faith that burns with intentional commitment for Jesus, passion for the Spirit, and compassion for others. For me, at this point in my life, this book also is one that invites me to consider what legacy I will intentionally work towards for my children, spheres of influence and the church. This book reminds us exactly what the legacy of Keith’s faith, and surrender to Jesus was and did.

Buy on Amazon

Read Highlights & Quotes 


[1] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), Back Cover.

[2] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), 5.

[3] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), 6.

[4] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), 9.

[5] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), 12.

[6] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), 46.

[7] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), 48.

[8] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), 58.

[9] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), 73.

[10] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), 83.

[11] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), 104.

[12] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), 95-96.

[13] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), 102.

[14] Keith Green, A Cry in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Sparrow Press, 1993), 96.

Comments

Popular Posts

Book Review: Shattered by Rip Wahlberg

Book Review: Lennon, Dylan, Alice, & Jesus by Greg Laurie and Marshall Terrill

Book Review: How Much Land Does a Man Need by Leo Tolstoy