“I Am Second,” by Doug Bender and Dave Sterrett is a pretty book. The page layout is clean and deliberate, the typography a combination of simple serif and san serif fonts that are visually interesting without complexity, the pictures monochromatic against stark plain backgrounds.
The book, visually, is simple and clean. The stories within it are anything but.
“I Am Second” is a story about real people finding God in a real world. Their stories are not pretty. The book is a collection of testimonies that tell stories of hurt, pain and brokenness, of bad choices and bad breaks. The title refers to the point of the stories, of what it means to come to a point of putting God first in one’s life. But even then, the testimonies don’t pretend that decision always makes life pretty and clean; it honestly discusses the struggles people go through.
And that’s the power of “I Am Second” — its unwavering reality. The book makes no case for Christ. There’s no sales pitch. At the end, there’s no altar call, just an explanation of who this Jesus is these people are talking about, and how you could put him first. There’s no pressure, just a collection of love stories with God. Which may be the best case one could make.
I received a free review copy of