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He Saw That It Was Good: How Your Creative Life Can Change a Broken World

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We were made to create. But our troubled world doesn't make it easy. Few people understand this better than acclaimed hip-hop artist and creative polymath Sho Baraka. With unforgettable prose and crisp storytelling, Sho will inspire you to speak truth, chase beauty, and live out the deep satisfaction of your life's true work. Through inspiring analysis of the We were made to create. But our troubled world doesn't make it easy. Few people understand this better than acclaimed hip-hop artist and creative polymath Sho Baraka. With unforgettable prose and crisp storytelling, Sho will inspire you to speak truth, chase beauty, and live out the deep satisfaction of your life's true work. Through inspiring analysis of the Black artistic experience, storytelling, poetry, and an honest, incisive view of Christian faith, Sho Baraka reveals how discovering your destined place in God's creative story impassions our gospel, helps you take a stand for a more just and beautiful world. Sho believes that God's work is a grand narrative of creation and redemption. And he invites you to join that work by leading the world to more--more creativity, truth, beauty, life, and wholeness. Since we often experience challenges in that work, through everything from systemic social injustice to personal hangups, Sho empowers you to experience resistance as an opportunity for creative and social breakthrough. This book is an invitation to see those challenges in your life as an opportunity to learn something profound about God, yourself, and your specific work in the world. What if, just like in the Bible's creation story, God was waiting to proclaim "good" over what he is making in us--and even what he is making through us?


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We were made to create. But our troubled world doesn't make it easy. Few people understand this better than acclaimed hip-hop artist and creative polymath Sho Baraka. With unforgettable prose and crisp storytelling, Sho will inspire you to speak truth, chase beauty, and live out the deep satisfaction of your life's true work. Through inspiring analysis of the We were made to create. But our troubled world doesn't make it easy. Few people understand this better than acclaimed hip-hop artist and creative polymath Sho Baraka. With unforgettable prose and crisp storytelling, Sho will inspire you to speak truth, chase beauty, and live out the deep satisfaction of your life's true work. Through inspiring analysis of the Black artistic experience, storytelling, poetry, and an honest, incisive view of Christian faith, Sho Baraka reveals how discovering your destined place in God's creative story impassions our gospel, helps you take a stand for a more just and beautiful world. Sho believes that God's work is a grand narrative of creation and redemption. And he invites you to join that work by leading the world to more--more creativity, truth, beauty, life, and wholeness. Since we often experience challenges in that work, through everything from systemic social injustice to personal hangups, Sho empowers you to experience resistance as an opportunity for creative and social breakthrough. This book is an invitation to see those challenges in your life as an opportunity to learn something profound about God, yourself, and your specific work in the world. What if, just like in the Bible's creation story, God was waiting to proclaim "good" over what he is making in us--and even what he is making through us?

55 review for He Saw That It Was Good: How Your Creative Life Can Change a Broken World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Yolanda Smith

    Powerful book! I felt both encouraged and convicted. There are things I need to continue in my life, but with even more zeal and commitment, and there are areas I need to change and work on. I pray for courage to do both!

  2. 5 out of 5

    scott meadows

    Read best in short chunks or as individual chapters to meditate on, Sho’s book spoke some needed perspective into my current development and calling as an “artist” in the evangelical space. From critiquing bit christian business to pointing out the different views of Jesus between ethnicities and calling the reader to Biblical truth, this book fulfills its purpose by showing that God is good and what He has made is good. Participating in the church, community discipleship, and the gospel’s fulfi Read best in short chunks or as individual chapters to meditate on, Sho’s book spoke some needed perspective into my current development and calling as an “artist” in the evangelical space. From critiquing bit christian business to pointing out the different views of Jesus between ethnicities and calling the reader to Biblical truth, this book fulfills its purpose by showing that God is good and what He has made is good. Participating in the church, community discipleship, and the gospel’s fulfillment of man so can we shine a light into the darkness of a sinful and fallen world.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vonda

    I knew very little about author, Sho Baraka, before reading this book. I did know he was a Christian rapper/musician. I found out he is also an excellent communicator, well-read, a poet, and a thinker/theologian. This book is primarily about creativity and work/art. The opening of Baraka’s book was stellar. In spite of it being a fairly short book, there are so many quotes I would love to share. I’ll choose a few and you’ll just have to read the book yourself to not miss out on the others. I’ll b I knew very little about author, Sho Baraka, before reading this book. I did know he was a Christian rapper/musician. I found out he is also an excellent communicator, well-read, a poet, and a thinker/theologian. This book is primarily about creativity and work/art. The opening of Baraka’s book was stellar. In spite of it being a fairly short book, there are so many quotes I would love to share. I’ll choose a few and you’ll just have to read the book yourself to not miss out on the others. I’ll begin with a quote that gives a general overview. “The creative life seeks to produce or restore the blessings of a truth that benefits more than just ourselves. It seeks to reform our souls and society. It recognizes the evils around us while not allowing them to paralyze us. To do this work well, we must always be doing inventory on our hearts and hands...The creative life honors the Spirit that inspires us while fixing our eyes on a redemptive future in which God has invited us to participate.” We must have a sober view of ourselves and others. Even King David, a man after God’s own heart, sinned against God and others. We need to tell the whole truth in our art, not just pieces of the truth. “Everyone’s hero has the potential to be a villain to others. Work that seems good to you may be a curse to others. We must understand the complex composition of our lives. We have the propensity to be both heroes and villains. It is very possible for you to be an oppressor and a liberator...We sing the songs and praises of David. We read the gems of Paul. However, I’m sure Uriah’s relatives felt anger at the very mention of the king. I’m sure the family members of those persecuted by Paul had some contempt for his letters. Individuals are complex, and their legacies are complicated. How we tell their stories can have a bigger impact than the bloodshed itself.” “Our work is spiritual because of how we work, not where we work.” Our daily faithfulness is of utmost importance. We must be faithful with little before we are ready to be faithful with much. Small things matter and compound over time. “People don’t wake up heroes; they decide to participate in daily practices that push them toward heroism.” If you are a writer, artist or enjoy theology, you will appreciate this book. I received an ARC copy from the publisher and net galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Leigh

    I honestly did not know what to expect with this book, but the title and premise caught me up in my tracks. I had never heard of Sho Baraka, as I don't typically listen to music that falls in the christian rap genre. (Although I know of Lecrae and Andy Mineo). Aside from this.... the subtitle "how your creative life can change a broken world" is the reason why artists, authors, poets, musicians do what we do. Any & every book on the market which mends faith & art is something I will DEVOUR. "He I honestly did not know what to expect with this book, but the title and premise caught me up in my tracks. I had never heard of Sho Baraka, as I don't typically listen to music that falls in the christian rap genre. (Although I know of Lecrae and Andy Mineo). Aside from this.... the subtitle "how your creative life can change a broken world" is the reason why artists, authors, poets, musicians do what we do. Any & every book on the market which mends faith & art is something I will DEVOUR. "He Saw That It Was Good" did not disappoint - just WOW! We were made to create as we reflect the image of a creative God..... Sho Baraka's prose, storytelling, experiences, and honest incisive view into the life of a Christian faith as a creator of art... is just, WOW. From social injustices & personal mishaps you will be empowered to use resistance as an opportunity for creative expression and breakthrough; to learn greater of God, your own art in the world, and yourself. You will be CHALLENGED. In these pages, he wrestles with the complexity of humanity, and as he puts it, finds redemption in the dysfunction. A book about stories and how they shape society...a book about honesty and how we manipulate what is "good." An incredibly thought provoking, challenging, edifying read, no matter you background or current-ground. (Is that a phrase, a word?). Passionate, thoughtful, generous, he truly lives what he writes. Not your ordinary CCM artist nor your watered down sunday school teachings.... If that's what you expect in these pages, you will not find that here. It was really interesting to read of some of his experiences as a recording artist...asked to cut and edit out the bulk of some of his music, to take the raw depravity of humanity out of it for the sake of "what sells." But what if what we all need is someone to just show us ourselves? As the author puts it... "Relevance isn't based on how much you speak. It's measured by how much people listen when you speak. Is there gravity to your words?" Certainly, certainly that is found here. Also, my favorite may have been when he wrote about rest, contentment.... because "A lack of rest kills creativity." Fun fact, I made over 320 highlights in my kindle. A few more favorite quotes. "To be great in our work is to be humble" "When we don't control our lives and work, they control us. When we are no longer being transformed by the renewing of our minds, we become worshippers of our work." "I find Christianity even more compelling because of its beneficial worldview. It keeps me motivated to operate in a world of corrupted ideals, systems, and people in need of a heavenly hope." "Are we being honest? Or are we creating fragile Christians who don't know how to handle obstacles and pain? When they experience these things, they end up thinking the church was a liar the whole time." "Our art replicates either the shallowness or the depth of our relationships with God and people." "The more we sanitize the world, the more likely we are to be traumatized by its evil." "If we never let light into the darkest places of our hearts and culture, our eyes will never have a chance to adjust. We will remain is a state of perpetual adolescence." "The gospel is both confrontational and unifying. Let's remember that, whether in the palace or in the desert, we may still be orphans." "The gospel is real when we find ourselves loving our neighbors who don't fit our careful constructs. Our goal shouldn't be uniformity. It should be dignified tension and learning. On both sides." .....And many, many more profound nuggets, if you will. Thank you to the kindle for the highlights feature that is easily stored in the notebook! Drawing from the creation narrative of Genesis, this book is 10000/100. I cannot say enough about the words printed on these pages (or typed in your kindle, as I read it) HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!! Grateful to Netgalley & Waterbrook for an early copy to review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Katlen Bush

    “I see the gospel as a portrait—a picture of God’s own image that offers a return to our intended wholeness.” “We need not only a theology of the poor but also a theology by the poor.” Powerful. Brilliant. Refreshing. One of my gripes over newly released Christian nonfiction is on how much of it feels like “self-help” - a genre I despise because of its capitalist principles. Baraka’s book is refreshing in that it is genre-bending, a mix of theology, history, sociology, memoir, and fiction with lyr “I see the gospel as a portrait—a picture of God’s own image that offers a return to our intended wholeness.” “We need not only a theology of the poor but also a theology by the poor.” Powerful. Brilliant. Refreshing. One of my gripes over newly released Christian nonfiction is on how much of it feels like “self-help” - a genre I despise because of its capitalist principles. Baraka’s book is refreshing in that it is genre-bending, a mix of theology, history, sociology, memoir, and fiction with lyrical writing. This book is his musings of people, places, events, and experiences, including being a Black man in america and being a Christian creative in evangelical white spaces. My favourite parts of this work include his insights into hero worship, the critiques on capitalism and its exploitative nature, and the gospel. The gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, saturated every chapter. If you loved I am Restored by Lecrae, I highly recommend this one as well!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Bollenbacher

    Wow, wow, wow, this is full of some truth. Challenging, clear, compassionate, creative. Everyone should read this.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Wolgemuth

    Sho covers a lot of ground in this book, and he does so creatively, insightfully, and helpfully. The stories we tell, the narratives that run through our heads, the idea of "good," the "Evangelical Edit," and more...I thoroughly enjoyed the encouragement and challenges the book delivers. Additionally, Sho's narration (with contributions from (foreword writer) Chris Broussard, Nasia Woods and Tadashii ) is outstanding. An effective and lovely presentation of the book. (full disclosure: the literary Sho covers a lot of ground in this book, and he does so creatively, insightfully, and helpfully. The stories we tell, the narratives that run through our heads, the idea of "good," the "Evangelical Edit," and more...I thoroughly enjoyed the encouragement and challenges the book delivers. Additionally, Sho's narration (with contributions from (foreword writer) Chris Broussard, Nasia Woods and Tadashii ) is outstanding. An effective and lovely presentation of the book. (full disclosure: the literary agency I'm a part of represents Sho and this book)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Candace Brown

    Wow. Wow. Wow. I’ve never heard much of the historical context that Baraka offers for his views on creativity, race, and culture! I greatly appreciated his perspective on flawed heroes, helping me to answer the question of, “How can you revere flawed people?” It was also great timing that I was reading “Jesus and John Wayne” at the same time as he describes his journey through CCM and the decision he made to drop association with the label because of the conservative Christian product industry. Wow. Wow. Wow. I’ve never heard much of the historical context that Baraka offers for his views on creativity, race, and culture! I greatly appreciated his perspective on flawed heroes, helping me to answer the question of, “How can you revere flawed people?” It was also great timing that I was reading “Jesus and John Wayne” at the same time as he describes his journey through CCM and the decision he made to drop association with the label because of the conservative Christian product industry. If you want to have a better relationship with God via understanding your creativity, this is the read for you! Here are my favorite lines: “When progress rejects the past, we all lose…we all want our work to matter. We all want to create from a deep place, a GOOD place. And this is how we start well: it should be a daily practice to look back with wisdom while looking forward with optimism.” “Each of us is creative. Each of our lives becomes a canvas displaying what our idea of good is, but without humility, we make terrible gods.” “To do this work well, we must always be doing inventory on our hearts and hands. Why are we making and what are we making? The creative life honors the spirit that inspires us while fixing our eyes on a redemptive future in which God has invited us to participate.” “I dare not make any false equivalents, but I must also recognize that some of my favorite thinkers can be chided for their shadows. G.K. Chesterton was hesitant to support the suffrage movement. Alexander Cromwell held discriminatory views of native Americans. Martin Luther King Jr. was outed by the FBI as a womanizer. W.E.B. Du Bois wrote a glowing eulogy for Joseph Stalin despite his atrocious war crimes. We should not ignore the shadows of those we love. This is not an endorsement or condemnation of iconoclasm, but I hope it’s a sober reminder that we are messy people living in a messy society. When our humility is low and our anger is high and we are certain our ideology is right, we are capable of doing substantial damage.” “Those people around us make up our tribes. Those tribes we belong to teach us how to paint God. They shape our values and imagination. They give us the colors, the canvas, the backdrop that we apply to our creativity, to our liberty, to our shaping of a good life.” “As apart of our growth, we all have to begin questioning the stories we were given about ourselves, about the world, about God. We have to compare what we have inherited with the stories Jesus told about a humanity being redeemed.” “The question we must ask ourselves is this: what is the story that I am telling with my life and work? Or asked another way, how do my life and work paint what I believe about God? You see, we live the story we believe.” “I believe the Gospel is not just a redemption of our activity; it is ultimately a redemption of our identity.” “Identity formation is not a closed gate but a revolving door. Many times we are unaware of who enters the corridors to instruct us, but neither are we are of thr impact of our contributions, the power of our own creative impact on the world.” “No matter who we are, the Gospel should challenge us.” “The farther you move from the flames, the harder it is to discern heat. Cultural distance has made Christians cold and stiff.” “Our art replicates either the shallowness or the depth of our relationships with God and people. If when we gather in accountability circles, our most arduous fight is against socially acceptable sins like pride or procrastination, then haven’t we lied to God and ourselves? We’re ashamed to confess violent thoughts, lustful desires, prejudices, and the depths of our selfish inclinations. It’s possible that I’m the chief of sinners like Paul and I stand as the lone Christian among sinners. Or my Christian culture has created groups of perpetual liars?” “In Exodus 35, Moses said that those who didn’t observe the sabbath will be put to death. Let this be a metaphorical rebuke to us today when we find ourselves disregarding rest and pursuing relevance. A lack of rest can lead to death.”

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    "This is not an endorsement or a condemnation of iconoclasm, but I hope it's a sober reminder that we are messy people living in a messy society. When our humility is low, our anger is high and we are certain our ideology is right; we are capable of doing substantial damage." "He saw that it was good. In that simple statement, we can find our beginning and our purpose. And this purpose begins with us being like God." "What is good work? What does it mean to bring creativity into our calling? What "This is not an endorsement or a condemnation of iconoclasm, but I hope it's a sober reminder that we are messy people living in a messy society. When our humility is low, our anger is high and we are certain our ideology is right; we are capable of doing substantial damage." "He saw that it was good. In that simple statement, we can find our beginning and our purpose. And this purpose begins with us being like God." "What is good work? What does it mean to bring creativity into our calling? What are the stories - true or false - that our culture tells us about work? And how can we bring what we do every day - no matter how humble - into the story of creation and redemption that God is writing so we can join him in healing this broken world?" "We must see good not solely as what is good for me but as what is good according to the narrative of God." "When work is about making a living, we turn a blind eye to what doesn't benefit our bottom line. But making a life sees the whole picture - including how others could be pushed to the margins as an effect of our success." "Is there one law of submission and non-resistance for the black man, and another law of rebellion and conflict for the white man? When it is the whites who are trodden in the dust, does Christ justify them in taking up arms to vindicate their rights? And when it is the blacks who are thus treated, does Christ require them to be patient, harmless, long-suffering, and forgiving? Are there two Christs?" - William Lloyd Garrison "You may happen to have a fortune and comfort, but is it any good? Do your fortune and power make you more charitable and loving? Next to your stack of resources, is there a stack of opportunities for others? Or do you lock away your resources and keep the combination secure from God?" "People who just want to 'fix things' can move in and destroy a whole local culture by 'helping' it." Connect your heart to your head "in the beautiful fullness of the gospel". "We give our platforms to those who are the most successful in the eyes of the world. Conferences and lectures are dominated by individuals who are far removed from the felt needs of many in our communities. Christianity cannot work for the palace and not the peasant. We need not only a theology of the poor but also a theology by the poor." "But rather than adapting and preaching on the 'unknown God' as Paul did, many Christians preferred to create their own insular gated communities. To sculpt their own small and inoffensive statues. The farther you move from the flames, the harder it is to discern heat." "Evangelical exceptionalism often hypocritically implies that grace is afforded only to those who are without error." "And if we ignore these realities, we are irresponsible artists. I believe the artist must take these risks." "In this passage, Jesus revealed that our best protection from the world is not isolation but the truth of God." "Before we can be effective in engagement, we must present our bodies (work, calling, and gifts) as sacrifices. They do not belong to us; therefore, we should be wise but not miserly with them." Romans 12:3 - By the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. "Monday through Friday, we are causing chaos through our vocations, politics, and actions, but then we want to throw on a cape, do missions, and save the world." "At the end of the journey, we will find that our hearts were worrying for no reason. Worry added no years to our lives, nor did it solve down our heart rate." Rest over relevance: "...three things happen: 1. Relevance becomes my god. 2. I don't truly believe my talents will make room for me. 3. My work is lazy and generic."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Baraka self describes his book as mostly “musings about people, events, movements, and ideas that I believe could help us cultivate good work and creativity.” (297/335) The core of the book, he writes, is “how the stories we live shape the world around us.” (42/355) I found the book to be insightful and thought provoking, even if a bit rambling in its content. I'll share some observations and conclusions, noting that I am a white Christian having had experiences in the evangelical, Charismatic, Baraka self describes his book as mostly “musings about people, events, movements, and ideas that I believe could help us cultivate good work and creativity.” (297/335) The core of the book, he writes, is “how the stories we live shape the world around us.” (42/355) I found the book to be insightful and thought provoking, even if a bit rambling in its content. I'll share some observations and conclusions, noting that I am a white Christian having had experiences in the evangelical, Charismatic, and nondenominational tribes of Christianity. Baraka challenges readers to understand the importance of our tribe in forming our stories and how those stories shape up. He encourages us to have our stories begin with the image of God, forming the basis. He challenges our theology and shares his experiences in Reformed doctrine, appreciating the theological growth but noting the disconnectedness from his heritage. He notes that the church should include consideration of people from all economic and social areas. Christianity is not a religion for only the privileged. “Christianity cannot work for the palace and not the peasant.” (186/355) The church needs the powerful and diverse expressions of faith, from a variety of people and tribes. Baraka is a controversial artist. He believes writers and artists are to be honest about their expression of the world. This includes language some might feel offensive. Some of his music has been banned from Christian retail outlets because of the language used. He uses some of that language in this book too, noting it is not for shock value but as an honest expression of life. This book is a rambling collection of Baraka's thoughts on a variety of subjects. I thought it would be more about being a creating Christian. He does give seven principles that he says will move people to a blessed creative life near the end of the book. These include such concepts as understanding God has given us gifts for the benefit of others and that we are to be content. His writing is more about our lives being a creative expression of who we are than about the traditional concept of being creative, such as in art or music. I found this book to be a jarring wake up call to those of us living comfortably within our fold of evangelical exceptionalism. He writes here, and has recorded songs, reflecting his honest feelings about racism and misogyny. This book will be an uncomfortable read for Christians who want to sanitize their understanding of Christian life. I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Sho Baraka's book, He Saw That it Was Good, is an honest look at some of the tough questions in our world. Baraka explores how people, created by God, can live in His world using their gifts and creativity to better their lives and the lives of others. I received this book from Waterbrook and Multnomah as part of their launch team in exchange for an honest review. I really didn't know what to think of Baraka's book when I first picked it up. I was not familiar with his work and the topic was ra Sho Baraka's book, He Saw That it Was Good, is an honest look at some of the tough questions in our world. Baraka explores how people, created by God, can live in His world using their gifts and creativity to better their lives and the lives of others. I received this book from Waterbrook and Multnomah as part of their launch team in exchange for an honest review. I really didn't know what to think of Baraka's book when I first picked it up. I was not familiar with his work and the topic was rather vague. However, after reading just a few pages I began to really appreciate his concept and the writing. Simple truths continued to be revealed as I read which inspired me to keep reading. The first thought that hooked me was, "If our lives are music, stories are the instruments that arrange it." Baraka's words inspired me to think. Stories tell our tales, they inspire and motivate. Just as music does. Another quote that spoke to me was when he said, "If we passively float through life, reacting only to the actions of others, our story is likely to be far from its full potential. But if we believe what God said about us, how we were made in the image of the Creator himself--well, wouldn't that change everything? Wouldn't that set us free to live our true story, our true creative life?" Hard questions like this, ones that make us think are what drive Baraka's book. For anyone who enjoys spending time questioning the world and God's creation, take the time to read Baraka's book. You won't be disappointed.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Trisha Priebe

    As a fellow artist interested in creating truth and beauty in a broken world, this new book by Sho Baraka caught my attention. Having now read it, I'm thrilled and grateful to have spent time in its pages. I was grabbed by the shirt collar beginning with the second line of the introduction—"We would each like to think we are part of the solution rather than the problem." Yowza! And yes! In addition to being a globally recognized artist, Sho Baraka is a careful thinker, a committed student of the B As a fellow artist interested in creating truth and beauty in a broken world, this new book by Sho Baraka caught my attention. Having now read it, I'm thrilled and grateful to have spent time in its pages. I was grabbed by the shirt collar beginning with the second line of the introduction—"We would each like to think we are part of the solution rather than the problem." Yowza! And yes! In addition to being a globally recognized artist, Sho Baraka is a careful thinker, a committed student of the Bible and of life, and a gracious-but-unapologetic truth teller in an era when Truth is difficult to discern. Each page rings with the honesty of a man who has lived and learned. In his words, "Dishonest stories haphazardly paint bull's-eyes on the backs of others." Regardless of what your passion is—music, writing, painting, speaking—this book will give you a roadmap to cultivate your creative calling and impact the world for good. "God is good. And one of the implications of being made in His image is that we were made to cultivate good." I read a copy via net galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura Spaulding

    Love a book that leaves me uncomfortable, curious, and at the same time eager to create! Some of my favorite quotes… “We self edit when we feel we are inferior. We hold ourselves back because we’re afraid if we don’t, others will. We stop ourselves from living our full creative life and telling the stories we were created to tell.” “Our goal should not be uniformity it should be dignified tension and learning on both sides.” “When I’ve sought the approval of people I’ve often found that I become a Love a book that leaves me uncomfortable, curious, and at the same time eager to create! Some of my favorite quotes… “We self edit when we feel we are inferior. We hold ourselves back because we’re afraid if we don’t, others will. We stop ourselves from living our full creative life and telling the stories we were created to tell.” “Our goal should not be uniformity it should be dignified tension and learning on both sides.” “When I’ve sought the approval of people I’ve often found that I become a terrible version of them.” “Every community is depraved beneath it’s veneer. Some communities and households have their brokenness on display through homelessness, gang violence, and drug addiction, but how many other communities hide similar dysfunction behind posh homes and fancy clothes. Some are afraid of the dark and others are entangled by it. The more we sanitize the world the more likely we are to be traumatized by evil.”

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    A strong beginning and a stirring ending with some memorable thoughts in between as well. Some frustrating arguments, some thought provoking arguments, things that made me want to learn more, and things that just made me irritated. I’m glad I read it and would recommend it to some but not all. Some of the writing was very compelling - almost poetic - even though the chapters didn’t feel as organized and logical as I might have wished. More a collections of reflections tied by a theme than a prog A strong beginning and a stirring ending with some memorable thoughts in between as well. Some frustrating arguments, some thought provoking arguments, things that made me want to learn more, and things that just made me irritated. I’m glad I read it and would recommend it to some but not all. Some of the writing was very compelling - almost poetic - even though the chapters didn’t feel as organized and logical as I might have wished. More a collections of reflections tied by a theme than a progressive argument. I copied tons of notes in my journal for later review. I’d love to discuss this with someone! Overall an unflinching but hopeful commentary on race, art, creativity, story, and vocation.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy Langmaack

    This book was my introduction to Sho Baraka. I know nothing of his music or communication style. But I found myself drawn to the pages of this book, wanting to read and know more about Baraka and his experience creating as a Black man in a largely white atmosphere. Baraka writes an incredibly insightful look at creativity and how it can be used to best preach to a broken world. I found myself highlighting things throughout the entire book, and beginning to think in new ways. There was a portion This book was my introduction to Sho Baraka. I know nothing of his music or communication style. But I found myself drawn to the pages of this book, wanting to read and know more about Baraka and his experience creating as a Black man in a largely white atmosphere. Baraka writes an incredibly insightful look at creativity and how it can be used to best preach to a broken world. I found myself highlighting things throughout the entire book, and beginning to think in new ways. There was a portion of the middle of the book where I felt the writing veered off-topic and into more of a history of the Black experience in America. I understand this is the lens through which Baraka creates, but I felt like I didn't understand all of how that history truly impacted creativity. (This lead me to my 4-star review instead of 5). I think this book is well worth the time for anyone who finds themselves in any kind of creative endeavor. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. This review is my own, honest opinion.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth L. Woods

    This was such a good book! I’ve been a fan of Sho Baraka’s artistry since 2010 and it’s been a pleasure to follow his transformation. From a rapper to a podcaster, actor, short film creator, a curator, thought leader, and an author has been amazing, to say the least. This book greatly challenged my work ethic, how and why I create and so much more. This book challenges and edifies at the same time. I’m already planning to listen to the audio book as well as reread this book at the end of this ye This was such a good book! I’ve been a fan of Sho Baraka’s artistry since 2010 and it’s been a pleasure to follow his transformation. From a rapper to a podcaster, actor, short film creator, a curator, thought leader, and an author has been amazing, to say the least. This book greatly challenged my work ethic, how and why I create and so much more. This book challenges and edifies at the same time. I’m already planning to listen to the audio book as well as reread this book at the end of this year or the beginning of 2022. You definitely need to read this book!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mariale & Pieter Dros

    I did not know much about Sho Baraka but I heard an interview about this book and it cautivated me. I really enjoy reading "He Saw That It Was Good". It's beautiful, inspiring and challenging. Love his insight about creativity and how to use what God has given you where you are. It is inspiring and challenging. I did not know much about Sho Baraka but I heard an interview about this book and it cautivated me. I really enjoy reading "He Saw That It Was Good". It's beautiful, inspiring and challenging. Love his insight about creativity and how to use what God has given you where you are. It is inspiring and challenging.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carissa Beard

    One of the writers in a group I’m a part if recommended this book to me, and I’m so glad they did. This book is a call to all creatives to be honest in their craft. To pursue excellence. To remember without darkness, light will never shine as bright. Part memoir and part directive, this book is a much needed voice in Christian creativity. Read it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shannan Harper

    I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but I'm glad I took a chance and requested it. Using honesty the bible and music, the author helps us look things through different eyes, especially with race with regards to the church. It's practical advice and a very easy read, but something that you will want to refer to and read again. I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but I'm glad I took a chance and requested it. Using honesty the bible and music, the author helps us look things through different eyes, especially with race with regards to the church. It's practical advice and a very easy read, but something that you will want to refer to and read again. I really enjoyed this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I had to stop, think, and pray as I read this book, asking God to remove false beliefs about work and worship I may have carried for a long time. I have heard the author in several interviews and knew I needed to read this one. It did not disappoint.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Jacobsen

    Randomly stumbled on this in a library on vacation and was very pleasantly surprised. Even came back the next day to read the rest. It had a lot of universally applicable truths and was helpful for centering myself as a creative.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachreads

    Powerful and inspiring. Sho Baraka offers deep Biblical insight and a thought-provoking look at how we can reconnect with our identity and creativity in the image of God. I'm going to read this book over and over again. Powerful and inspiring. Sho Baraka offers deep Biblical insight and a thought-provoking look at how we can reconnect with our identity and creativity in the image of God. I'm going to read this book over and over again.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rhiannon Morris

    This book gives you so much to chew on while inspiring the soul.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linda Bumba

    Eloquently stated, He Saw That It Was Good is a book to be re-read, even more slowly, in order to take it in more thoroughly.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Derek Davidson

    Great book discussing the intersections of race, creativity, church, and theology from Sho Baraka’s perspective and experience.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lee Murray

    This was an outstanding book and one that accomplished it’s purpose—to make me feel uncomfortable. It begins with a biblical admonition—to not think more highly of ourselves that we ought and thinking that, of course, out theology is right. Of course it isn’t. He guides us through misguided thinking gently—and sometimes not so gently. He gives us guidance on how to use our creativity for good. He starts with asking what we are making and why we are making it. Big questions. He challenges and irrit This was an outstanding book and one that accomplished it’s purpose—to make me feel uncomfortable. It begins with a biblical admonition—to not think more highly of ourselves that we ought and thinking that, of course, out theology is right. Of course it isn’t. He guides us through misguided thinking gently—and sometimes not so gently. He gives us guidance on how to use our creativity for good. He starts with asking what we are making and why we are making it. Big questions. He challenges and irritates, cajoles and soothes, but pushes. I enjoyed this book very much and even listened to some of his music. If you’re wanting to challenge yourself to make a change and make a difference, read this book. Highly recommended. I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for a fair review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brady

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Copeland

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey

  31. 5 out of 5

    Christy

  32. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  33. 4 out of 5

    Kallie

  34. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

  35. 5 out of 5

    Amy Langmaack

  36. 4 out of 5

    Cielo

  37. 4 out of 5

    Eddie Callaway

  38. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  39. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

  40. 5 out of 5

    Peace

  41. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

  42. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Beamer

  43. 4 out of 5

    Merc Rustad

  44. 5 out of 5

    Donne

  45. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  46. 5 out of 5

    Sheryl M.

  47. 4 out of 5

    Marie Druckenmiller

  48. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Morgan

  49. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

  50. 5 out of 5

    Derek Griffon

  51. 4 out of 5

    Sherrie

  52. 4 out of 5

    Mike Weston

  53. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  54. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Lloyd

  55. 5 out of 5

    Amber

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