Book Review: Seal of God by Chad Williams

Living in the San Diego area, we appreciate the Navy. We pray often for those who put themselves in harm’s way. That’s what initially attracted me to “SEAL of God“. Chad Williams tells his journey of not only becoming a Navy SEAL, but also a follower of Christ.

A couple chapters into the book, I thought it was going to be merely a “Jerk to Jesus” story. Chad does a great job of painting a high jerk quotient to his life in the opening chapters. I didn’t feel sympathy for him, but for his parents. Gifted talent goes away wasted in more ways then one.

Yet amid his “jerkness” you can see God’s hand at work. What does make “Jerk to Jesus” stories appealing is the incredible transformation that happens. Chad offers not a work of fiction, but a memoir of his life, of God’s work in his life, and how God can be at work in the lives of those who read his story. What makes Chad’s story unique is the Navy SEAL  aspect of his life. He gives us an inner glimpse of his motivation and the feeling of emptiness when he reaches the pinnacle of what he thought success would be. Throughout the book there are hints of God watching over him and being committed to  not let Chad go.

Greg Laurie writes in the foreword, “God shapes His men with the hammer of adversity and the chisel of discipline.” Definitely an apt description of what God does in Chad’s case. God had a hard heart to jackhammer and transform.

One of my favorite chapters in the book is Chapter 5: “Bring on the BUD/S”. Chad shares SEAL training tips and insights. You can see the seeds God is planting, and the work God is seeking to do.  Chad’s earlier life had prepared him for SEAL training, and at one point in his life he discovers his SEAL training is part of the work God will call him to do with the rest of his life in sharing his story of faith.

I enjoyed how Chad shared his road not only to faith, but to first being a Navy SEAL. I have a greater appreciation for the sacrifice that is made. When I go to Coronado, it’s a slice of heaven. Chad’s version of Hell Week gave me a whole new glimpse of a place I love.

Though Chad can’t go into the details of his SEAL deployment, I valued the insights he could share. Our armed forces make a tremendous sacrifice for the cause of freedom (even more so God does with Jesus), and that gift is appreciated again in these pages.

I won’t spoil the how Chad comes to faith except to say as always God has a sense of humor. Our never’s become His shall be. The “of God” part hinted there would be a transformation, the story itself made such transformation even sweeter.

Part of the transformation process of faith is the zeal and commitment Chad brought to his life as a SEAL, he brings to his life of faith. It’s a great story to read and a great reminder God meets us where we are and who we are and how He forms us into who He made us to be. God does not waste our lives, but redeems them and uses them to God’s honor and glory.

You can also follow Chad’s adventures by following him on Twitter @RationalTruth . You can see a great video on YouTube about SEAL of God here or read the first chapter here.

I give SEAL of God 4 out of 5 stars. It was a good read about a transformed life. Thanks to Tyndale for providing a free copy for me to review. For those curious about life as a Navy SEAL and even more what Jesus can do to transform any one’s life, SEAL of God is a great book to pass on to read.

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