A review of the book 'Faithfully Present' by Adam Ramsey

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A review of the book 'Faithfully Present' by Adam Ramsey

A review by Ruth Clemence

Faithfully Present by Adam Ramsey is a fantastic book filled with biblical truth and helpful wisdom that every reader should take to heart. The author shares, ‘There are two important truths we need to press into our hearts if we are to live faithfully present in the days God gives us. First, we must learn to number our days, for our final day will come sooner than we think. Second, we must remember that in Christ, our final day is not our final day.’

My first impression of this book was how much it resonates with my own experience. Personally, having cancer twice has taught me to number my days and appreciate every day as a gift. Being a mother has revealed how fleeting the days truly are, and the importance of giving my children my full attention when I am with them. Coming off social media for good has enabled me to focus more on life in front of me, whilst distancing myself from the noise and endless distraction that the online world offers.

The goal of Faithfully Present is to embrace a life which declares, ‘I am not God,’ and in so doing to find true freedom. The author shares that ‘it is when we embrace our God-given limitations, being faithfully present to what God desires to do in us and through us, that we become most truly alive’. If we do not accept this and constantly think about the next thing, we exist through life and miss the life God has given us. Using the idea of ‘faithful presence’ from American scholar James Davison Hunter, Ramsey quotes him by saying that ‘only by being fully present to God as a worshipping community and as adoring followers can we be faithfully present in the world’.

Faithfully Present is structured in two parts. In the first part of the book we think about how to live faithfully to God in the time given, and when life changes, when it moves slowly or quickly and when it comes to an end. The second half of the book thinks about our physical body, where we can only be located in one place at one time, and considers the many relationships that surround us. Ultimately, we are ‘in Christ’ and we are on a journey to our heavenly home. It gives consideration to our future ‘as we enter into fullness of life, unpunctuated by death, forever with God’. What I valued about this book is its timeliness. It is without a doubt a message that so many of us need to read today. With increasing time pressures, busy lives connected both online and offline, and the desperate need people have for needing to connect or reconnect with God, this book has deep wisdom and speaks a refreshing message to a distracted culture.

I particularly valued the author’s insights on nostalgia captured beautifully in this quote: ‘But like a Snapchat or Instagram filter, nostalgia amplifies the colours of the past while airbrushing out its flaws. The trouble with nostalgia is that it exaggerates the beauty of the past and minimises its troubles, injustices and problems.’ Another quote which resonated with me was his take on heavenly and earthly-mindedness: ‘Perhaps you’ve heard the silly saying, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re of no earthly good.” The truth is that for most of us, our real problem is the opposite: an earthly-mindedness that blinds us to our eternal future and paralyses us with anxiety in the present because our tendency is to treat this life as ultimate.’ 

Whilst it is timely, it is also timeless. There is nothing new about this message because God has revealed the principles in his word first. The truths that Ramsey writes about will resonate with every generation that longs to be present with God and with others. As he helpfully shares, ‘What powers our perseverance through the ever-changing circumstances of life is the never-changing presence of God.’ For anyone who is longing to make the most of their time for God’s glory, and to be reminded of God’s presence with them in every season of life, this book will be a faithful guide and a comforting companion. 


Adam Ramsey leads Liberti Church on the Gold Coast, Australia and also serves as the director for Acts 29 Asia Pacific. The author of several books, including Truth on Fire and Truly, Truly, I Say to You, his favourite parts of life include being married to Kristina, making memories with their five kids, and preaching good news. Adam is quite serious about joy and an avid practitioner of laughter.

Together Magazine

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