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Bob Coy - Dreamality: Heaven's Dream - Your Reality
Author: Bob Coy
Publisher: Howard Publishing Company
Publication Date: July 19, 2005
The biggest problem with Bob Coy’s book Dreamality: Heaven's Dream - Your Reality is it sends you into sleep mode. Coy is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale and while the ideas he shares are invaluable, the book is written in a style that reads more like a collection of sermons adapted to print. Coy fails to involve the reader in his book, and therefore, you begin to feel you are just reading one long sermon.
Coy’s contemporaries such as Chuck Swindoll and Max Lucado have succeeded over the years in developing a strong following of readers with their ability to take lessons learned in ministry and wrap them in the written word. Lucado will often use humor effectively to involve you in the narrative while Swindoll has the uncanny ability to bring Biblical characters to life. For the most part both of these qualities are missing from Dreamality, although the author has a humorous line in chapter eleven, “I don’t know if I find it more astounding that the donkey talked to Balaam or that Balaam talked back without a second thought!” Coy needs to tap into this side of his personality more to bring scripture to life.
Throughout the book there are reference to Joseph and ample opportunity to involve us in the lives of Joseph and his brothers who sold him into slavery but the author sticks to a narrative style.
In chapter three, he recounts the story of a person who grew up in an abusive home environment, delved into the world of drugs and alcohol and through a miracle of God’s grace wound up serving as a youth pastor. This poignant story should have come to life in a manner that makes you feel the angst and the victory. I found this very odd considering my own life contains many of the elements of this particular story.
My suggestion for reading the book Dreamality: Heaven's Dream - Your Reality would be to read it as you would a devotional book, a chapter at a time. In fact the small group at my church to which I belong is in the process of deciding upon our material for this year and I may very well suggest Dreamality. Now you probably think that I am waffling because I slammed Coy’s writing style and now I am willing to endorse the book as small group material. Let me explain, Coy offers up a lot of ‘meat and potatoes’, if I may use a cliché. I find many books currently used by churches for Bible studies, Sunday School classes or small groups have chapters that are only a few pages long so they can be read by the group. I don’t know about you but when I go to a small group I hope the other members have come prepared and by that I mean they have read the material and have some issues they wish to discuss.
As I was reading Chapter Two Provision to Share I was reminded of a commitment I made to God earlier in the year. I had promised God that I would sponsor a child in a less fortunate country and had been delaying doing until I was in a better position financially. This chapter of Coy’s book prompted me to act now and I picked up the phone. The author cites some astounding figures concerning where the average North American’s money is spent. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this chapter is timely.
What is incredibly comforting to me about the perspective Coy writes from is that despite the fact he is the senior pastor of a church whose congregation is estimated at 17,000. It is easy to detect his genuine sincerity when he tells you that he is grateful for the people God has provided to help build Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale.
I suspect Coy has fallen into a similar trap as many of us do in assuming that one form of communication easily translates into another. I have never heard Bob Coy preach but I understand he is a very good speaker and I think it is safe to say one does not get the opportunity to pastor a congregation this large without some gifts in this area. That being said what works in the spoken word does not often work in the written word. Let me illustrate what I mean. From a very early age God gifted me as a creative writer and journalist. After studying acting for three years I decided to write a couple of plays. I quickly learned that although I had some gifts in acting and some gifts in writing, I had not honed my craft to the point where I understood how to express my ideas in a manner which communicated well to an audience.
My advice concerning Dreamality is to use it for small group material or read it a chapter at a time but not continuously. On content the author gets a thumbs up but for writing style, I have to give the book low marks.
By Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved
Joe Montague is an internationally
published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory
of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18.
All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague.