I Choose Peace

Reviewed by:

Tim Pietz from Rubicon, WI, a Professional Writing student at Taylor University in Upland, IN.



I Choose Peace


Doug Bender


Nelson Books

Publication Date:





217 pages


“Peace is you smiling at the thunder and laughing at the wind, not because you control the storm, but because you know that the One who does is on your side.” That’s how Doug Bender introduces his new book, I Choose Peace, a sequel to I Am Second, and a continuation of the I Am Second movement.

I Choose Peace promises sixteen “raw stories of real people finding contentment and happiness,” and for the most part, those stories live up to that promise. Bender doesn’t skirt around sexual abuse, drug addiction, infidelity and divorce, racism, suicide, and other painful topics, but he does take care to highlight Christ’s persistence through each and every story.

Many successful businesspeople, athletes, television personalities, musicians, and authors share their stories of struggle and of finding Christ as their rock. Big names fill the pages, such as Phil and Kay Robertson (Duck Dynasty), Albert Pujols (MLB all-star), Brian “Head” Welch (Korn lead guitarist) and Chip and Joanna Gaines (Fixer Upper). In many ways, their fame is a draw for the book. These are interesting people, accomplished in their fields, yet they are willing to be raw and honest about their struggles and their faith. Many of their stories ring with depth and authenticity, and Bender does a good job of reflecting on the meaning behind their experiences. At times, however, it feels as though an individual may have been selected more for their earthly success than for the maturity of their relationship with Christ. There’s always a danger in placing celebrities on a Christian pedestal, and while Bender handles that delicately, he never quite escapes it.

I Choose Peace is an intriguing read, and its storytelling approach could hold particular appeal to many nominal Christians and seekers. While its celebrity-centric approach may turn some readers off, the rawness of the stories and the insights speckled throughout help make this book more than a splash of stardom.



4 out of 5 stars

Suggested Audience

Christians, nominal Christians, and non-Christians alike.

Christian Impact

Promotes peace, hope, and love without ignoring the heartache.

Other Notes

Sometimes focused on success more than Christian maturity

I Choose Peace: Raw Stories of Real People Finding Contentment and Happiness (An I Am Second Book)

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