Lost Boy: My Story by Greg Laurie

Christian Book Review

Lost Boy by Greg Laurie
Lost Boy by Greg Laurie. Image Courtesy of Regal Books

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The Bottom Line

If you've ever thought to yourself, God could never have use for someone like me, you need to read Lost Boy: My Story, the autobiography of Pastor Greg Laurie. This story positively proves that God chooses to use the weak and foolish things of this world to confound those who are wise and mighty.

To put it mildly, Greg Laurie had a troubled childhood. Although he's now senior pastor of one of the largest churches in America, Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, his youth was precariously unstable.

Born illegitimately and raised by a wild and reckless, alcoholic mother, who married seven times during his developmental years, Greg has every claim to the term "dysfunctional family." Yet his spiritual rags-to-riches story is nothing short of miraculous. He's the Rocky Balboa of the religious, testifying that God can—and does—turn our worst failures and tragedies into our greatest triumphs.

Pros

  • Refreshing, down-to-earth, yet full of spiritual insight.
  • Comfortable, conversational style, free from "christian-ese" or churchy language.
  • Contains all of the elements of a great story: humor, tragedy, humanity and victory.
  • Illustrated with photos and original artwork.
  • Includes inspiring testimonies of lives touched by God through Greg Laurie's ministry.

Cons

  • One of those rare reads with no cons, at least none that I could find.

Description

  • Genre: Autobiography
  • Release Date: June 2008
  • Author: Greg Laurie with Ellen Vaughn
  • Publisher: Regal Books
  • ISBN: 9780830745784
  • Format: Hardcover, 256 Pages

Book Review - Lost Boy: My Story by Greg Laurie

The theme of Lost Boy takes its inspiration right from the story of Joseph in Genesis 50:20, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people." (NLT) Conceived out of wedlock, raised with no real father-figure, lonely and unloved, this real-life underdog is someone most of us can relate to in some scarred and blemished way or another.

Greg Laurie eventually finds himself in the most unlikely and unexpected circumstances, such as when he's asked by world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham to join his gospel crusade ministry.

Today, Laurie pastors and teaches the Word of God to a church of 15,000 members. He has reached over 800,000 people with the gospel message through his worldwide Harvest Crusades, has a nationally syndicated radio program, a television show, and has authored several books.

As a lost, broken, long-haired hippie, Greg Laurie came to faith in Jesus Christ at age 19. With blazing honesty, Laurie shares about his life: his long and bumpy road of healing, his call to ministry, his love story with wife Cathe, his adventures tracking down his adopted father and biological father, his failures, fears and numerous imperfections. In fact, he emphasizes these human frailties, always focusing the positive attention and merit toward God, the One he credits for every blessing and privilege his life now contains.

When I received my copy of Lost Boy, I immediately wanted to read it. I attend a thriving East Coast Calvary Chapel and have known only goods things about Greg Laurie and his vibrant ministry on the opposite coast.

Just a few weeks later, I heard the tragic news about the death of Laurie's son, Christopher. Now I had to read it. I put away the book I had been struggling to finish, and I picked up Lost Boy. From the first chapter, I got lost within the story.

I wondered if the death of 33-year-old Christopher would have changed the story at all, had it happened earlier. Would Laurie still have written the book? His eldest son, who worked as art director and crusade organizer within the Harvest ministry, left behind a beautiful wife, Brittany, a 2-year-old daughter, Stella, and another child due in November. In Lost Boy, Laurie writes about his thoughts as a father when Christopher was first born: "In me, there was just a big blank where a father's model of experience and wisdom was supposed to be. Now I was to be this little boy's father for as long as I lived." He talks about his complete dependence upon God's Word for learning how to be a good father to Christopher.

He also admits his tendency to overcompensate because of his own lack of fatherly examples. Poignantly, he tells of the close adult relationship he and Christopher came to share.

Now that I've finished reading his story, I am certain this horrible loss and unimaginable family tragedy will become, like everything else in Laurie's life, an instrument of God's grace to further strengthen him and to increase the depth, height and breadth of God's ministry through him.

Favorite Quote from the Book

I had so many to choose from, so here's just one:

"But God, in his infinite skill, blends all things in our lives and cooks them in the oven of adversity. One day we shall be able to see them fully transformed. Then we can taste that they are good. For now, we must believe it."

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