Over the years I have read many books, some good and some bad, some written specifically for new Christians and some for the seasoned saint. But there are some books that every person should read because they are so challenging, Sunny Side Up is one of them!
Sunny Side Up is about the conversation between Jesus and Peter in John 21. Peter had denied knowing Jesus 3 times and you can imagine how broken and distraught he was by the whole ordeal, until Jesus invited him and the disciples to have breakfast together. Hence the subtitle of the book: The breakfast conversation that could change your life.
If you’ve been around church for a while you’ve probably heard this conversation in a sermon before, but DeWitt is writing to new Christians or those who are maybe on the fringes of the church. I hope and pray that this book will be in very high demand because the message it proclaims is one that the church needs to hear. I hope and pray that this book is in high demand because there are so many men on the fringes of church who need to be brought in and a good place to have that conversation is over breakfast with Jesus.
DeWitt really challenges the reader to think through their love for Jesus. It is so easy in churches to make sure people know the right things, use the right terminology and have all of the important information about God and Jesus. That isn’t wrong, but there is so much more to Christianity than information. DeWitt says…
“You see, orthodoxy – proper beliefs – is where we begin. We can’t grow very much in our love for God without also growing in our beliefs about God. What we believe about God is vitally important.
But orthodoxy is not where we end. It’s dangerously possible to grow in our knowledge of God without growing in our love for God. We can accumulate a lot of knowledge while our hearts remain far from him.”
That is such a challenging and true quote and something that many people can often miss. This book helpfully went into the details of Jesus’ conversation with Peter and pulled out details that I’d never thought of before. For example, when Jesus asks Peter in John 21:15 “do you love me more than these?” I’d never thought about what the ‘these’ are, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what DeWitt thinks 😀
One of the things that I really liked about this book is the link that DeWitt makes between a love for Jesus and a love for the local church. He says is far better than I could ever say it…
“If we love Jesus, we will love Jesus’ body. If we love Christ, we will love his bride. If we love God, we will love the church. So, show me how much you love the church, and I’ll show you how much you love Christ.”
That packs a punch, but he goes further and brings it home to the local church…
“You can’t love the church until you love a church.”
This is such an important thing for every Christian to wrestle with! Love for Jesus = love for the church, love for the church = love for the local church, love for the local church = love for the people. If we all got this and lived it out in our churches we would love, serve and care for each other better.
This whole book is about our hearts and what they are chasing after, Jesus wants our hearts, He wants His sheep to follow Him. This book is short, warm, encouraging and challenging I highly recommend that everyone picks it up because if we all understood what it teaches then we would all be better worshippers in our everyday lives.
One thing about the book is that the breakfast analogy spreads a bit too thin, but maybe that’s because I normally skip breakfast. Seriously, buy this book!
Dan DeWitt is Associate Professor of Apologetics & Applied Theology at Cedarville University and Director of the Centre for Biblical Apologetics & Public Christianity.