Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"the butterfly effect" by andy andrews

The Butterfly Effect. Besides being a ridiculous Ashton Kutcher movie, the butterfly effect is the concept that one small event (such as a butterfly flapping its wings) can change the course of the future. In his book The Butterfly Effect, Andy Andrews demonstrates how one man's actions during the Civil War changed the course of American (and world) history. Through this story and others, Andrews encourages his readers to make their lives count--to positively influence the world.

As I reflect on this book, I'm torn. On the one hand, it's a fantastic motivational book. In just over 100 partially-full pages, Andrews convinced me to reflect on the effect my actions have on others and on my--and their--future. The book is compact, attractive, and perfect for a coffee table. On the other hand, Andrews doesn't point the reader in any specific direction. I walked away from the book with the following message: "I'm important. My life matters. I should do positive things so my effect on the world is positive." And in a sense, that is true ... but it goes much deeper than that. Everything I do should be done for the glory of God; that knowledge should be a far greater influence on my life than Andrews' book. When I put the book down, I thought of the following quote, which I've since learned is credited to English missionary C.T. Studd: "Only one life, 'twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last." So I do recommend this book--it is, as I've said, quite interesting and inspiring--but remember that if you are a Christian, your main responsibility is to glorify God ... and by glorifying God, you just might change the world!

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


  1. This was a really good review. I love the idea of "the Butterfly Effect", but you are so right: only in the context of a Christ centered/ God centered life does it have any meaning.

    1. Thanks! I heard Andrews speak at a Women of Faith event last summer, and he spoke about "the Butterfly Effect"--in a way that brought Christ into it. I wish the book would have been more like that!


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