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The Grave Robber

How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible
Narrated by: Mark Batterson
Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

The Grave Robber is a nonfiction Christian living book that discusses the seven miracles of Jesus in the Book of John and their importance for our lives today.

©2014 Mark Batterson (P)2014 Mark Batterson

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  • Albert A. Byas
  • 25-04-17

Faith Builder

I love this book. It really pushes you to put your faith in action. Try it you will like it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 27-06-16

What happened?

I have read your other books and expected the same caliber. Did you run out of material and decide to drown the story line with facts? You seem to really like statistics, surveys and the such, but that takes away from what God wants to tell us. Also, do read into scripture. You presume what's not written I. Scripture. Although that makes for a good story or background information, we don't know. Stick with what God's telling you to share and don't try to impress your knowledge or endless facts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert & Shena
  • 06-04-15

Full of truth and Biblically sound!

With as many good words that I had heard about this author, I was still surprised at the power and effectiveness of the words in this book! He brings the truth of the Bible into modern-day life and explains how they are still true and still active in today's society. He breaks down several of the miracles that Jesus is produced, and demonstrates miracles within our lifetime that have had similar attributes!

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  • D. Oldfield
  • 05-05-17

3rd Batterson Book in 4 months

I loved it! Yes, many of Mark's books include a similar message but it's one I can't get enough of. I loved the book and needed the message in my life. I'm pursuing the dream that is bigger than myself, I'm stepping out of the boat.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-02-16

Great Message, Recycled Content

I truly love Mark Batterson, but Mark, please write some new content. This is book #4 of yours I've read and it's recycled from the others.

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  • Rev. P. R. Miller
  • 30-04-19

95% anecdotes, 5% exposition - TLDR: Avoid

The raw answer-
More research was done on illustrations and anecdotes than the actual text of the Bible. Batterson knew ahead of time what he wanted to say, and did little to no research into the genuine miracles or signs of John's gospel.

The detailed answer-
For me, this book was close to impossible to get through. First, stylistically, it doesn't work for me. Second, theologically, the work is a total mess of ideas that aren't fleshed out. Third and finally, in terms of structure, each section has a Scooby-Doo formula. I'll explain the issue with each.

First, style. Admittedly, stories and anecdotes are not my cup-of-tea to begin with, but Batterson's work is just littered with them everywhere. I realize that this can be helpful to get the point across, and it's more personal preference, but Batterson could have cut half of his anecdotes and illustrations from this work, and it still would be overwhelming.

As a sub-point of style, I usually prefer when an author reads his books because you can understand a lot about the author's points from their inflections in voice. Batterson has no inflections. Batterson is always operating like he greeting a crowd for the opening of a worship service. He should have hired someone else to read. And while I can tell his voice is suited for sermons, his voice is not suited for seven hours worth of listening. Sermons have highs and lows in cadence to help build point and engagement. Batterson's voice and lack of fluctuation in tone is abrasive after the first 30 minutes. After seven hours, it's unbearable.

Rarely, Batterson will read the text as it is presented. Batterson will more often adlib the section of John's Gospel that he is talking about, which is fine on its own, but then adds unnecessary, not even implied details that will end up hurting any exegesis and interpretation that might go on with the text. The wine Jesus made at the wedding might be a great vintage, but I doubt anyone was uncorking bottles and remembering that day because they weren't uncorking bottles in this time. It might be a stylistic gripe, but it is annoying.

Second, as I said, the work is a theological mess. Batterson's use of free-will theology contradicts itself constantly, sometimes within the same sentence. Free-will theology does not have to contradict itself in the ways Batterson does. Batterson will comment, one-upping Abraham Kuyper (every square inch of the world in God's control) by saying that he believes that every subatomic particle is under God's authority. Within a few sentences, he then makes repeated statements such as, "God wants to bless you!" implying that while subatomic particles might be under God's control, God is somehow subject to humanity's wants (and can miss or reject his miracles). One second, Batterson will say that God does what God wants, and the next, that we humans can miss out on God's blessings if we don't ask for things prayer.

Is God's will so flimsy that unattentive humans can mess it up? Which is it? If God is in control and sovereign, why is God seemingly subject to us praying for the right things at the correct times? And since this an evangelical book, there could at least be some bible verses backing up that theology. Batterson cannot seem to figure out which way God's power and miracles go, and changes back and forth so quickly it's quite jarring. It might sound mean, but I know first-year secular undergraduate students that could drive a skeptical truck through the theology of this book, and first-year seminary students that could pick apart the theological assumptions and contradictions.

Continuing theologically, if you were looking for a book that would explain anything about the seven signs in John's Gospel, this is a book that I would avoid at all costs. This complaint is a combination of style and theology. While the premise of the work is that John's seven signs have theological significance demonstrating God's power, there is precious little talk about what is actually in the Bible regarding those seven miracles.

To discuss this more, I have to mention my third point on the structure, because this book is formulaic in the worst way. Each chapter, and moreover every section, starts, continues, and ends the same way, every time:
1. Start with a sermon illustration or a personal anecdote.
2. Quickly squeeze that illustration into something that resembles the text.
3. Insert three or four taglines that are catchy and cliche, not to mention Tweetable in length.
4. Another illustration or a personal anecdote.
5. Repeat the same point from earlier, or the previous three chapters, reworded, and even sometimes word-for-word.
6. Start over at 1.

So when talking about the wedding at Canaan, Batterson will start first with an illustration or personal anecdote. He will then relay (often, clumsily) that illustration back into the biblical text of the wedding, followed by another illustration or story, developed with more repetition of what his illustration is trying to get across. Sometimes, albeit rarely, it even involves John's Gospel. Really, the passage *always* boils down to the classic evangelical trope, "Miracles are everywhere, you just have to believe in them." The problem with this belief is that miracles happen regardless of whether I believe in them. This trope can be stated in a number of different ways, but it always boils down to what we do, rather than what God has done.

I won't deny the healings that are present in the book. I won't deny God's providence throughout the world; that would be silly. But, the constant subtext that God is somehow dependent on man for action in the miraculous is theologically dangerous.

Just avoid this book. It's not well written. It's structurally weak. It's theologically humancentric.

(PS - I also disagree with Batterson's premise about miracles being suspensions of God's law, and so do most proper theologians. C.S. Lewis' "Miracles" would have helped him here.)

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  • Jordan Ring
  • 01-02-18

Loved this One, for So Many Reasons

I Love everything that Mark writes. I can honestly say that In a Pit With a Lion is my favorite book of all time.

This book was no surprise. It was a wonderful read and a reminder of who God is and who Jesus is. His words here are God ordained.

I recommend this book to anyone feeling a little off or maybe wondering what it's all for? what is my place in this vast universe?

Mark's story telling is on point here as usual, and I laughed and cried and nodded my head throughout. I can honestly say that his writing has changed my life for the better.

Are you willing to wait on this? Or are you ready to seize your destiny and put your hope and trust in Jesus? The Grave Robber is calling you, will you listen?

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-11-17

amazing equipping read

Immersed in these pages are amazing real life experiences. You will find the tools to equip and believe by.

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  • PM
  • 25-09-17

inspiring

This was a very inspiring book that I believe will increase your faith! It's a must-read or listen to or both multiple times.

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  • Sherry
  • 13-09-17

Faith Inspiring!

This book balances expecting miracles and excepting when the miracle don't come, or don't come as we expected!it's a page turner that will leave your faith in spired to believe for great things from our great God!
~Sherry Stahl