The Greatest Wave – Cho Larson

The Greatest Wave by Cho Larson
Published by Warner House Press Genres: Non-Fiction, Devotional
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All topics in this study guide are filled with nuggets of Scripture. This refreshing learning experience builds precept upon precept until the complete picture unfolds. Because Scripture interprets Scripture, there are numerous verses in every chapter that serve like a diamond to reflect facets of light. This is a comprehensive, guided study presented in digestible bites. Like stepping stones through the Bible, it teaches us how the righteousness of Jesus Christ affects us at every intersection and season of life. Love and faithfulness come together in this study. Righteousness and peace embrace. God's faithfulness flows like springs of refreshing water to soak into every element of the created earth and its inhabitants.

The righteousness of Jesus Christ surrounds us, looking down upon us from heaven. His justice floods around us like waves that deposit treasures of the sea on shore, island, peninsula, and continent. Jesus' perfect sacrificial obedience washes over us with blessings like the gentle waters of a brook. From the gardens that flourish in the valley, to the vineyard on the hillside, and to cattle grazing lush grass on the plain; Christ's justice goes before Him to pour out the riches of heaven for the land to yield its bountiful harvest.

Christ victorious affects the foundations of home and family, making them Rock solid, surrounded in His goodness. Judicial civil governance for every nation on earth is built upon foundations the Creator established with the first words of creation: "Let there be light." Our community and the church are strong enough to weather many storms when they are built upon Yahweh, our Father's established tenets of justice, love, and mercy.

The Greatest Wave is the latest in a series of Bible studies from Cho Larson, an Arizona-based Christian author and teacher. This particular book focuses on Christ’s righteousness and has thirty different chapters divided into five parts, making it suited for a month-long study at just a chapter a day. Each devotion runs from 6-10 pages and there is a page marked for notes and discussion questions at the end of each chapter.

My primary critique of the book is Larson’s love of Scripture-hopping. Rather than look at a text in context, The Greatest Wave jumps from here to there, selecting verses that fit a rather stream-of-consciousness writing style. For example, chapter 15 begins with two bullet-pointed verses from Isaiah 26:9 and 51:5. Both verses speak to God’s coming judgment and redemption. Larson pivots to examples of angels interacting with humans, references God hiding Moses in the cleft of the rock, then quotes Isaiah 41:10—and that’s just the first page! The constant movement around shows that Larson has a decent knowledge of Scripture, but the haphazard and contextless application keeps him from any substantive discussion of the text. It’s all a frenetic jump here, there, and everywhere that keeps you from ever settling into the text.

Next, I normally don’t comment on a book’s appearance or layout, but The Greatest Wave suffers from a layout that can be distracting. The left margin on left-side pages is oddly close to the edge and, occasionally, a page’s final line almost bleeds into the footer area. Larson also has a habit of citing Scripture as a footnote, rather than in-text, which is a break from established practice. That format is also inconsistent, as sometimes in-text citations are used. I also noticed an example of Larson defining a technical term—phylacteries—in a footnote after it had already been used earlier in the chapter. It’s small things that a good editor and publisher would catch or do different and definitely affects the book’s readability.

I say all of that because I want to be clear that while The Greatest Wave has its marks of amateurism, it’s not all on the author. With some editorial changes and some guidance on tightening up the pacing and flow of his writing, Cho’s devotional ideas would come through a lot stronger. As is, it was a struggle for me to get through this one and appreciate his thoughts because of the presentation.