Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Review of Get Outta My Face! by Rick Horne

Author: Rick Horne

Pages: 176 pages

Publisher: Shepherd Press

Price: 9.50

Genre: Youth/Counseling

Quick Summary:

If you have spent any time with teenagers then more than likely you have met an angry, unmotivated, or disinterested teen. You may even have one living in your house. Rick Horne hopes to help parents, teachers, and youth workers reach these teenagers with biblical counsel.

His method is really quite simple: Get to Know Your Teen –> Build a Bridge –> Point to the Cross. As Horne explains, “This book will teach you how to build a bridge to young adults on the basis of the ways in which their desires and actions reflect the image of God and the blessing of common grace”.

What I Liked:

This book really shines in the area of helping adults understand what is going on in the mind of today’s teenager. As I read through this I could not help but think of parent’s I would love to get this book to. This book is also written in an easy to remember fashion. It is well outlined and easy to follow.

Horne writes as one on the front lines in the war for the hearts of teens. He knows what he is talking about and provides wise insight and counsel to those uninformed in the battle. He interjects humor, sadness, and hope.

What I Disliked:

I read this book over a month ago, but put off writing a book review so I could think it over. Something about it did not sit well with me. Not that it should be confined to propping up the leg to your kitchen table; nothing that severe. Something seemed to be missing. Had it not been for the last chapter I would have been very disappointed.

After some time to think it over I think I have discovered what sits wrong with me. The book shines in the area of “HOW TO REACH ANGRY, UNMOTIVATED TEENS”. But it is incomplete in doing so “WITH BIBLICAL COUNSEL”. It effectively teaches how to build a bridge, but once that bridge is built it leaves you asking, “what now”? I hope the last chapter serves as introduction to a second book on pointing teenagers to the cross. This important chapter should have been woven into every chapter the preceded it.

Should You Buy It?

Even with the negatives where this book shines it really shines. If you have a general idea of what it means to reach someone with biblical counsel but are unsure how to build a bridge into their lives then this is a great book for you. If you already have built a bridge and are looking for advice on how to offer biblical counsel then this book is not for you. But what do you expect, the title of this book is Get Outta My Face! You expect a book telling you how to reach the unmotivated. I only wish it had been about 250 pages instead of 176. Still, though, every parent and youth worker needs to read this book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


  1. I'm currently reading this book and have questioned a few of his premises. I wondered if you could help me sort through this?

    On page 33 the author writes:

    "People want peace, love, joy, and acceptance by God (or a god). These are some of the '"wise wants" that God has wired into our natures. Teens appreciate beauty, fairness, justice, sacrifice, and kindness. They value truthfulness, integrity, loyalty, freedom, and respect. The list of virtues they esteem, to one extent or another, goes on and on. This does not mean they practice these things. Their self-centeredness, like ours, gets in the way of being what they want underneath.

    In it's naked and unrestrained form, our sin would destroy us and everyone else. But such uninhibited, total abandonment to one's own self-glorification never reaches full flower in any of us. Something restrains us. By common grace, there is in everyone some measure of respect for virtue. Paul refers to this general human desire by noting that "the requirements of the law are written on their (and our) hearts" (Romans 2:14-15). The sense of the moral law of God-that which is right, admirable, and desirable-is imprinted on each of us as creatures of God.
    These desires are in angry teens too. In Proverbs 10:4, for example, Solomon says, "A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. When parents are urged to reason with their youth about laziness and poverty, they can do so because the connection between diligence and wealth makes sense to young people. All of the proverbs have assumptions of "wise wants" like this lying beneath them."

    Rick Horne's Premise: God has wired "wise wants" into our natures.

    Immediately, I thought of Romans 3:10-12. There is nothing good in us. No one does good.. not one. So, how can we say that we have something in us that wants good if we don't know Christ and have His righteousness imputed to us?

    He is comparing our "wise wants", which are desires, to the "requirements of the law that are written on our hearts". Those are 2 different things to me.

    What am I missing here? This has become a big stumbling block for me concerning this book. I'm sure I must be missing something. He does mention 'common grace' but his teaching on 'wise wants' is still not sitting right with me.

    The second thing that bothered me is this. If we are able to point out the underline 'wise wants' that our children's bad behavior really is aiming for.. and convince them that it's in their best interest to make changes in order to get what they want.. then have we made any progress since the motive of the teen is still to fulfill his own selfish desires and not to live for God's glory?

    Maybe these questions will be answered by the time I finish the book?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Mrs. Girouard

    Where am I off?

  2. Georgene,

    I had the same concerns as you. Let me say from the beginning that fundamentally I agree with you and that I had the same problems. Oddly enough I do not think Horne would deny any of the things that you have asserted. He believes in total depravity and he believes that the main goal is that our teens may live for God's glory (the end of the book really helps with what you are struggling with).

    So, we have to ask this question. How does Horne (or how would I) square what he is saying with the doctrine of total depravity? Is there biblical truth in what he is saying on page 33? If so, then we have to ask the question how does that square with Romans 3:10-12.

    I think what Horne is saying is that because we are still made in the image of God and because we do have common grace there are elements of "good" within us.

    We have to consider what Paul means in Romans 3:10-12 when he says there is nothing good in us. I'll leave that research up to you...try to discover what Paul means in that section and if it is possible that it can square with what Horne is saying. Does Romans 3:10-12 mean that we have lost all elements of goodness, that we not longer have any aspect of the image of God, and is it possible that unbelievers can truly desire "good" things although for perhaps not so good reasons?

    Secondly, great question concerning wise wants desired selfishly. Does it really help? I guess we may have to ask this same question to Jesus. He seems to appeal to our "selfish" desires. Like "riches in heaven", etc. There is some sense in which even a desire to live for God's glory is a desire to live for our good. So, maybe Horne is on to something here.

    The end of the book really helps. I would suggest reading chapter 11 right now...and then pick back up where you left off. I hope this has been helpful...if you have anymore questions please feel free to comment more...i may not have answered satisfactorily, and if so please tell me.




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