Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Your God Is Too Safe: Rediscovering the Wonder of a God You Can't Control” as Want to Read:
Your God Is Too Safe: Rediscovering the Wonder of a God You Can't Control
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Your God Is Too Safe: Rediscovering the Wonder of a God You Can't Control

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  658 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Here's a thoughtful, probing exploration of why Christians get stuck in the place of complacency, dryness, and tedium -- and how to move on to new levels of spiritual passion! Buchanan shows how the majority of Christians begin their spiritual journey with excitement and enthusiasm -- only to get bogged down in a "borderland" -- an in-between space beyond the "old life" ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published February 5th 2001 by Multnomah Books (first published January 1st 2001)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  658 ratings  ·  91 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Your God Is Too Safe: Rediscovering the Wonder of a God You Can't Control
Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Hanna
I think it's unfair to say "this book was great", because each reaction to it will be so individualistic. Sure, the writing was easy to read, the editing process certainly did it's job... but was it good? Well, that all depends on what I do with the information, how my life changes.

I found Buchanan deeply profound. He spoke to directly where I am, and inspired me to leave that place, this Boarderlands as he calls it, and to take my Christian faith just a little bit further, just a little bit
Randy Alcorn
C. S. Lewis said Aslan is not a tame lion, and Mark Buchanan shows us what that means. The undemanding God-in-the-bottle genie who exists to serve us is a modern heresy. Its the God of the Bible who calls the shots. We are servants of a fierce King, who is gracious, but never manageable. Your God is too Safe reminds us what it means that Jesus is Godand were not! Dangerous faith in our untamed Savior leads us to the joy we crave. The breath of life rises off the pages of this book. ...more
Chris  - Quarter Press Editor
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Buchanan can write. All too often, especially in the Christian realm, writers of Christian books cannot write. I was pleased to see that this is not the case. Plus, he makes you think. This isn't something to expand your knowledge of God and what it means to be a Christian; Buchanan forces you to rethink your picture of God, to take particular note to all the glossed over characteristics of God--His wrath, His anger, His (really there isn't a better word for this) murderous tendencies--and ...more
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-books
I expected a book about the miraculous power of God and the need for us to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit even when it takes us to wild places, but I found a (very good) book on the spiritual disciplines.
Dustin Tramel
Sep 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dustin by: Brad Ellgen
I love rereading this book. Buchanan is a very poetic author (sometimes his flowery words get annoying). I didn't realize that this was a book about Christian spiritual disciplines until I was mostly through it (a very great accomplishment on the part of the author). Reading this book made me excited about practicing spiritual disciplines. The author does not make you feel guilty but rather he inspires you with the reality of a spiritually disciplined life. I highly recommend this book!
Jan 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book is a pretty good overall wide general challenge to your Christian lifestile and how to avoid getting stuck in a faith rut. At the same time the tone is nonjudgemental or threatening and the book is quite easy to follow.
Mar 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Awesome read! I like Buchanan's matter-of-fact speak of how much Christians pigeon-hole God into their own image. The metaphor of "borderland" will always be with me. I absolutely loved this book. I strongly recommend it to anyone who is looking to re-evaluate their faith.
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Learn about serving a God who has more in mind than your comfort and safety.
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book changed everything...
I very soon encountered a much less safe God and following Him into the mission field and nothing has ever been the same again!
But... wow. I am so thankful!
Joel Bain
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Several years ago I picked up this book and started to read it. I didn't finish it because at the time it felt like just another rebuke of the church. However, picking it up this month, it came across as a more compassionate yet stern warning against life on the "Borderland." There is so much of a routine of comfort that takes place in our lives, but something that I appreciated in Buchanan's books is that while we tend to be drawn to these routines, there is a reason why. There is strength in ...more
John Sagherian
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading Your God Is Too Safe, by Mark Buchanan. Great challenge to stop playing it safe and to instead plunge into the adventurous relationship that God wants to have with us. Practical, moving, easy to read but it made me think about my own relationship with Him. Its hard to let go of the safe God were used to. I highly recommend it. ...more
Josh Miller
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Of the thirty-four books that I have read this year, this book has pierced my heart in ways that none of the others did. I picked up this book by happenstance (it was the Lord's directing) in a thrift store for $1 while living in Indiana. I was not familiar with the author, but the title intrigued me and I purchased the book.

If you read this book, prepare for a challenging, convicting, inspiring, motivating, and yet honest look at the region called "borderland" that all of us too often live in.
Havebooks Willread
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Havebooks by: Stephanie
I thought this was outstanding. I took my dear sweet time reading it to let the truths sink in.

He is also a wordsmith--I always enjoy authors who use words with such precision and poetry. In addition to savoring his points, I frequently had to savor the way he expressed them.

I loved his analogy of the borderland where the "saved but not sanctified" reside. I was going to highlight some of my favorite points, but it turns out I can't narrow it down to three or four. I'm really glad I own this
Mar 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I started this on the plane on the way to India and probably underlined 75% of the book! It rocked me in a good way...I will never forget my view of God changing as I read this sitting on a bed in India, feeling so isolated, but also so enveloped in the encompassing love of God that could reach me all the way in India, all the way across the world from everything I knew to be safe.
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great read for a Christian at any level. We attempt to put God into boxes, He is in the business of breaking them. Too often we end up abandoning that God for the one we understand, we substitute the real one for something less.

Mark Buchanan reminds us that the gods we've fashioned are lame. God is ferocious, scary and wonderful.
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
This is one of the best Christian help books that I have ever read, and I have read a ton of them. Mark Buchanan, you have done an amazing job of putting your thoughts together in this book. I have found it to be a perfect read along with my early morning Bible Study, and it has made me seriously think about many aspects of my faith. Thank you for a great read.
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Exquisitely written and very challenging book. A treatise on leaving behind a casual, easy, self-centered Christianity and embracing a deeply God-centered and wild Christian experience. Highly recommended.
Nicholas Maulucci
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
another highly enjoyable, superbly written, and spiritually challenging book by this author. Thank you, Josh, for the recommendation. fresh perspective. unique outlook. recommended for all servants of God.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm one of those people that loves to hear stories whenever someone is preaching or teaching through a book or sermon. It is the fuel that keeps me interested, & I love it when people can show me something in a story. I feel like I listen/pay attention more when told a story than when someone just says, "Don't be afraid" instead of someone telling me an incredible story of conquering fear. Mark Buchanan is good at adding in stories that connect & make a point. He has a story in almost ...more
Christopher Cole

I had never heard of Mark Buchanan prior to December 2, 2017 when he was the guest speaker at a Pastor and Spouse breakfast held at one of our denominational churches in Batavia, NY. I was blown away by the 20 or so minute talk that he gave, and wished I could have heard more.

He mentioned this book he had written, "Your God Is Too Safe", and the title alone would have intrigued me. But listening to him for just a few moments solidified that this was a book I needed to read.
Jonathan Brooker
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Buchanan has quite a way of weaving words together! While it does at times get to be a bit overpowering, he finds ways to be so descriptive and wordy in a way that further allows you to appreciate the vastness of the English language.

Then there's the content of the actual book: Buchanan argues that many Christians have found themselves in the borderland of not living quite where they were but not where they're meant to be either. As he unpackages that thesis into it's parts he develops an
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Your God Is Too Safe is an easy-to-read, yet jam-packed book of revelations. Buchanan introduces the Borderland, a place that is comfortable and nice. A place that I have rested in and you may have to. Borderland is essentially a waiting room. It's a waiting room where we forget that part of the Christian walk is to walk, to move forward. In part two, Buchanan introduced us to the Holy Wilderness. Inviting us to live a life of pure faith, teaching us survival skills, and calling those skills ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Buchanan is quickly becoming one of my favorite current authors because of books like this. Every bit as good as "Your church is too safe", I was a little surprised he could pull off two books so closely related without repeating themes at all. He did it well. I can see this book being useful for any stage of Christian maturity, but especially to those who have become disenchanted with the watered down deity that floats around in the clouds. Those who are stuck in what Buchanan calls "border ...more
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. The first part was hard to "swallow"...I noticed while reading I felt a bit annoyed by the author's words and tone. Maybe because his words hit a cord? I don't know. But it was interesting, thought provoking, and definitely necessary for the second part of his part, which I thoroughly liked. His advice was simple, honest, funny, and very useful. A good read for all Christians, especially those who are stuck in a rut (which I was) and need a different perspective.
Ashley Carmichael
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read in a long while. Both convicting and empowering, the author has a knack for encouraging the audience to leave what he calls borderland and enter into an obedient relationship with a powerful, awe-inspiring creator, not the bedtime story we so often associate with God. I highly recommend this book!
Sep 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
I agreed with most of the substance in the book, but the style left much to be desired. The writing is extremely repetitive. He relies on detailed situational anecdotes that often have little to do with the point hes trying to make. And he does have some great points, but I was expecting a little more depth at times. ...more
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: god-relationship
This book is a pleasant, leisurely stroll of a conversation about knowing and experiencing God. It was less focused, less narrow than I expected. Each of the chapters are small enough to digest in one sitting, and each touches on the deeper truths of a unique topic, beautifully illustrated with stories. An encouraging read in troubled times!
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-next
This is a book I will reread and recommend often to others who are struggling with why the Christian life isn't "working" for them. It contains important truths communicated through relatable, powerful stories to help followers of Jesus get out of what the author calls "borderland" and into the passionate, exciting life we are called to live in abandon to God!
Randy Wolff
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book than change your life

This is my first Mark Buchanan book but will not be my last. I highlited so many pages. So many good thoughts. Now, to go live it. I am a grateful leper returning to thank Jesus.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Mr. Buchanan makes some good points. His book is well-written, but I've read several books on the subject and it didn't strike me as being an improvement on any of them. For someone who has done no reading on spiritual disciplines, it'd be a good place to start.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn't, and Get Stuff Done
  • Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law
  • Plain English for Lawyers
  • Introduction To Paralegalism: Perspectives, Problems, And Skills
  • The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History
  • The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For
  • Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom
  • Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future
  • The Watergate: Inside America's Most Infamous Address
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins
  • Peter the Great: His Life and World
  • 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created
  • Arguing with Socialists
  • The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year
  • Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to God
  • The Retreat of Western Liberalism
  • 24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid
  • The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914
See similar books…
Mark Buchanan lives in Calgary, Alberta, with his wife, Cheryl. They have three adult children, Adam, Sarah, and Nicola. He was a longtime pastor, an author of many books, and now serves as a professor at Ambrose University College in Calgary.

News & Interviews

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” That’s Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani human rights...
51 likes · 17 comments
“Sometimes doubting is not a lack of faith, but an expression of it. Sometimes to doubt is to merely insist that God be taken seriously not frivolously, to insist that our faith is placed in and upheld by something other than seeming conjuring tricks.” 26 likes
“One of the most convicting things I have recently come to realize about Jesus is that He was never, not once, in a hurry.” 8 likes
More quotes…