Let's take a few moments and examine Chazown. First of all, the title is a transliteration of one of the Hebrew words that is translated as “vision” in most Bible translations. A quick aside: it's not the only word translated that way, nor is it always translated that way. Groeschel has taken the word, though, from Proverbs 29:18: Where there is no vision, the people perish. (KJV)
From this, he has constructed something that is less a book and more a guidebook. As you pass through Chazown, there are exercises to complete, thought-provoking questions to answer, and notes to take. Unlike many books, this isn't really optional, which shows plainly as you continue to read. How? You'll get to a chapter and Groeschel will tell you to refer to what you wrote down a few chapters back, and to use that as a reference point.
The reading sections are short, and in this internet era, give the feel that this started as perhaps a web-series, but got to be too big for the servers. That's not really a positive or a negative, but just should help you see some of the flavor of Chazown.
As to the content, Groeschel has placed this entry into the great field of “How do figure out what God wants me to do with my life?” answers. He's putting forth the idea that God will guide Christians to know what they should do, and then that we ought to, with God's guidance and sound wisdom, figure out how to do it.
In fact, that's the hyper-simplification of this book. For some, they will see too much 'man-work' in this, and others will see Groeschel's use of 'vision' and 'revelation' as troublesome, since the only clear 'revelation' we have is the Bible. I find that he hits a good middle ground here.
The length and practical interactions could be intimidating to some. It is for me. I read through this book, doing a very basic interaction, so that I could accomplish the review, but I don't know where I will find the time to clearly focus enough to go back through and tackle all the steps that are presented here. Still, I hope to do so. A little more clarifying won't hurt.
I would recommend this book, especially if you have the opportunity to plant it in the life of someone who is starting out fresh, whether by choice or not. It's not going to help someone facing a mid-life career change find a specific job, but it might help them figure out what they really want. Put in the hands of a high school, college, or even seminary student and grasping even part of the concept would do a world of good.
So, grab Chazown. Just don't try to ask for it by name.
To be clear: I received a free book in exchange for this review from WaterBrook/Multnomah Publishers.