book review: veneer [living deeply in a surface society]

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. school of ministry and missions instructor. president of fistbump media, llc.

June 27, 2011

“I’m afraid we’re going to pass on giving you this opportunity.”

Silly me. I thought my track record and work history would be enough, but apparently he had another idea of what the job would require of me.

“Sometimes when we come into work we need to put on a certain image. We need to show others what they want to see if we’re going to get anywhere in this organization.”

At that moment, I had to decide what I was willing to do in order to climb the corporate ladder.

In Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society, Tim Willard and Jason Locy have hit on something that resonates pretty deeply with me. They describe how in woodworking, a veneer is a thin covering over another surface that disguises it so that it looks like something it’s not. Willard and Locy continue to identify the ways we do the same thing… especially in the church.

This veneer we hide behind not only interferes with our relationships with each other, but also with God.

The first part of the book works through the how and why as it relates to our veneered lives. Willard and Locy talk about how everything from our purchasing decisions to how we interact with technology reveal the ways we attempt to project something we’re not.

The last part of the book then explores how we can move away from a veneered life, and into a more authentic relationship with God. Finding transparency and authenticity has benefits that can bring great freedom… IF we’re willing to become vulnerable and let go of some things.

Willard is a pastor’s kid who’s lived through (and wrestled with) the high expectations that others have for him. He now travels as a musician, speaker/teacher, and writer with a passion for seeing people develop an authentic connection with God. Locy is Creative Director for FiveStone and has worked with clients that are as big as they come. The combined experience of these two has resulted in a thorough and well thought out book that virtually all of us are able to connect with.

I know that I’ve connected with the book… in a big way.

In fact, I’ve found very few books that have been able to knock me back on my heels the way this one has. This is something that every Christian should read. It’s forced me to think about the veneer that I apply at work, at home, and at church. But more importantly it’s challenged me to break through the veneer to become a better Christ-follower, husband, father, worker, and friend.

Note: I’ve also had the pleasure of interviewing Tim Willard for The High Calling. Check out that interview… How to End Veneer: A Video Interview with Tim Willard.

This book is part of the BibleDude.net 2011 Summer Reading List. Check out this book and more from that list below…

20 Comments

  1. Sheila Seiler Lagrand

    This book has popped up in a few places this past week. I think I need it. Thanks for the review, Dan.

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      this book (@endveneer:twitter) is one of the best i’ve read recently. i highly recommend it for all Christians.

      Reply
  2. Laura Boggess

    I’m going to have to add this to the list. It sounds wonderful, Dan. The interview is great too. I never would have guessed that guy wasn’t a twenty-something. He shares some wise words.

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      tim willard does share some wise words… and the interview over @thehighcalling:twitter was a great conversation related to the concepts in the book. we tried to focus a little more on the workplace… but this stuff is just so applicable to EVERY part of our lives that it’s hard to keep it focused on just one aspect.

      powerful book.

      Reply
    • @bibledude

      just wanted to let you know that you’ve been selected as one of the winners of a copy of this book! thanks for your comments here and on the interview over at thehighcalling.org! i’ll reach out via email to find out where you want to send it. thanks!

      Reply
  3. Edwina Smith

    This is a very interesting book on how we run from who we really are because we don’t want to face who we really are. But when we are finally tired of being different people in different environments then we are truly able to see who we really are in Christ. Interesting Book.

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      i love how this statement sums up much of what @endveneer:twitter is all about! definitely an interesting book…

      Reply
  4. Sandy0518

    I would love to read this book!!

    Reply
  5. Sandy Corey

    I would love to get a copy of this book……even an ebook would be great!

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      yeah… in my interview with tim willard over at thehighcalling.org, we joked before starting the recording that i had the book on kindle, and what that says about me… all in light of how they talk about technology and purchasing decisions we make int the book.

      thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  6. Anonymous

    I’d love to read this book as one who has been trying to live in open transparency in the world… 

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      this book (@endveneer:twitter) is one of the most convicting books that i’ve read regarding the transparent Christian life. 

      and i’m sure you’ll enjoy it too as one of the winners of the giveaway! thanks for the comments! i’ll reach out via email to find out where you want me to send it. thanks!

      Reply
  7. Denadyer

    My hubby mentioned this book recently as one to put on his list. His birthday is in a few days and I’d love to win one so I could give it to him! 🙂

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      dena… you might want to let him know that he can expect a copy since you were selected as one of the winners of a copy of this book! i’ll reach out via email to find out where you want me to send it. thanks for the comments here and at the interview!

      Reply
  8. Anonymous

    Wow, definitely looks like it’s worth the read this summer.

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      definitely a worthy read… it made the summer reading list here and over @thehighcalling:twitter!

      Reply
  9. Mark Ashcroft

    I hadn’t come across this.  Thanks for the review, it sounds exactly what we need.

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      i think EVERY Christian needs a bit of the truth shared in this book! thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  10. Rachel

    This looks like a fascinating book. Thanks for the thoughtful review!

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      thanks rachel! it is a fascinating book!

      Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. the official 2011 bibledude.net [summer reading list] : BibleDude.net - [...] book review: veneer [living deeply in a surface society] [...]

Leave a Reply to @bibledude Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

book review: veneer [living deeply in a surface society]

by Dan King time to read: 2 min
21