“Our prayer for you, as you make your way through this book, is that your life would be the next one changed. …Jesus really does change everything. Whatever you need ‘reset’ in your life can be changed here and now, today.”
—From the book’s foreword by Josh McDowell, Luis Palau, and Ravi Zacharias
Let Jesus Be Your Reset
Do you want to make a difference with your life, but you’re having trouble moving on from your past? “Follow me,” Jesus told his early followers, “and I’ll show you life as it was meant to be lived.”
Nick Hall reminds us that Jesus says the same thing to us today: “Trust me. Follow me. Come to me dirty, and I’ll clean you up. Come broken, and I’ll reassemble the parts. Come desperate, and I’ll replace pain with joy. Come to me with all your questions, all your confusion, all your fear. I can reset your purity, your self-image, your faith. Come.”
Whatever has been holding you back, a reset is available to you by the grace of God. Say yes to the life you were meant to live.
- Focused on the event, but the not the process
You notice one thing very quickly when reading Reset: Jesus Changes Everything by Nick Hall: this guy is passionate about reaching the next generation for Jesus. His passion is obvious in just about every sentence of Reset, and he has a reckless faith in Jesus that is contagious.
This book is his clarion call to a generation, declaring that all the challenges they face can be met in Jesus. Self-image, relationships, purity, habits—all of them can be reset by Jesus. Hall is calling his generation up to something higher and bigger. I can imagine this book being very helpful to many young people as they consider how Jesus’ influence can permeate every area of their lives. The true value of this book is to be found in its call to systematically surrender each area of our lives to Jesus.
Hall mentions the planning for Together 2016 multiple times in the book: an event with the goal of drawing one million people to the National Mall in Washington DC. The book released before this event, and was intended in part to promote it. Together 2016 place on July 16 and drew an estimated 500,000 people. Unfortunately, the event had to be shut down early because of safety concerns due to the heat. Now, it is difficult to quantify the impact of an event like Together 2016, but despite the early ending, reports are very positive. There is now an effort to get people plugged into churches and serving in the wake of this event. However, I would estimate far less energy being dedicated to this effort than to the hype leading up to the event.
Which brings us to my major criticism of this book: Hall tends to lean into the hype too much. At times, I got the impression I was reading a collection sound bites from some his messages to thousands of gathered young people. This is all well and good, but following Jesus is a process, not an event. Just as I imagine thousands walking away from Together 2016 with a newfound sense of purpose, but no idea how and where to put it into action—this is how I felt after reading this book: excited, fired up, and completely aimless.
The systematic surrender of our lives to Jesus was meant to take place in the authentic community offered by the church, but Hall leaves this part out. In fact, most of the times Hall mentions church it is in a negative context—pointing out the judgmental attitudes and irrelevancy of many churches. This generation is not lacking for passion, what we are lacking for is authentic community in which to cultivate authentic faith. Hall, with his event-centric approach seems to have no category for this, and as a result his book—and events—will do little to change the trend of passionate-yet-disconnected young people stumbling in and out of churches across America.
Of course, this trend isn’t Hall’s fault. Churches themselves need a “reset” in how they engage young people. In Reset, the passion is palpable, but there is an irresponsible over-focus on our individual relationship with Jesus. In short, this is a book written for individuals in a crowd, not a community of believers determined to reach their world for Christ. And as such, in many ways, it is a missed opportunity.
Nick Hall narrates the audiobook version himself, and he does a great job.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
- Fighting the Secular Humanistic Influence in College
Amazing story of what God can do if we listen to his calling. We all receive whispers from God most every day of our lives. Most of us listen and quickly move on to other activities that seem more urgent. Then we wonder why God is not working in our lives.
This life story hits home particularly because when I taught the senior class in Sunday School several years ago, one part of my teaching included preparation of our students for the deception of the academic world to wean our Christian children into a secular humanism worldview.
Most alternative worldviews start with some very logical statements and ultimately convince many Christian-raised young adults that they should be of the world instead of what we are taught to be in the world but not of the world. It is, in my opinion extremely important to bring back young adults to a truly Biblical worldview.
The ministry with which God has blessed Nick Hall appears to be just such a calling. As I investigated Nick’s ministry, I found that his organization recently held an event called Together 2016 on the Mall in Washington, DC. It appears that this event had an attendance on the order of 350,000. It appears that Nick’s ministry named “Pulse” is evolving on campuses and cities in a similar fashion to Promise Keepers which had a major impact on my life.
I also was touched by the personal stories throughout the book which resonated with experiences in my own life and the life lessons in obedience to God that point me to a fuller life with God.
I enjoyed Nick narrating his own book. When well done, this brings a more personal experience.
I was given a free audio version of this book for my agreement to review it but this has not influenced my personal impressions of the book.
- Reset for Life
Nick Hall has written a book that has the potential to define the next generation. Probably the most used word in this book is Jesus, which just happens to be what the book is about. It is about how Jesus changes everything. The beginning few chapters begins with who Nick Hall is and how God has used his like to minister to countless young people through big events. After this introduction, the author hammers home his catch-phrase. The trend for successful marketing and branding of an idea is that it has to have a clever yet captivating name. The word Nick Hall uses is Reset. When sharing the gospel, he coins the word reset to describe what Jesus offers to people. Jesus offers a reset. He gives a second chance. It is a great word that captures an essential element of the gospel, namely that we cannot and never will measure up to God's perfect standard (and have indeed made a mess of our lives) and Jesus is the only one who can redeem or reset our mess of a life. The author makes it clear that it is not by personal effort that our lives can be reset but by surrendering to Jesus alone.
At first I thought that this book was going to be about how an unassuming and ordinary person rose in the ranks to do great things for the Lord. There are those stories of revivals starting from some small group of Christians meeting in a college dorm room. After a short period of time, a movement is born that sweeps across the nation and impacts millions of lives. Well, that is pretty much what the first part of this book describes. My first reaction is to be skeptical of such movements, not because they are fabricated or inauthentic, but rather because they are the exception. What lasting fruit do they often produce? Movements like the one mentioned in this book explode and then subside after a few years. However, one particular aspect of the movement Nick Hall is describing is that it is clearly and unabashedly about Jesus. So long as Jesus remains the focal point of this ministry, it will definitely be set apart from other so-called revivals or movements that tend to be little more than clever marketing and tactical prudence.
I received this book from the publisher free of charge in exchange for an honest review. For more information, visit www.christianaudio.com.
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