Monthly Archives: April 2013

Review of “The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living as If He Doesn’t Exist”

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In his book, The Christian Atheist, Craig Groeschel addresses the many ways we as Christians live as though we do not even believe God exists.

Having previously read his book, Weird, I was familiar with Groeschel’s writing, and when I saw this book at my local library, I wanted to read it! I am so glad I did. I was personally convicted in many ways about the way I live– and how my life does not proclaim the Grace of God like it should.

“While others may love you today and abandon you tomorrow, God’s love never changes. And because of that, you will always be a valuable, significant individual.”

This was one of the main points in the book that grabbed my attention. I felt like God was shaking me by the shoulders, reminding me that I shouldn’t be searching for significance or approval from others– I already have it, in Him. He chose me! 

Because, ultimately, I am not living my life for anyone other than God. Really, I have an audience of One.

“Thank God, he’s not fair. He is just, but he is not fair.”

Groeschel goes on to cover topics such as prayer, pain, worry, and the Justice of God, all with his unique blend of humor, honesty, and Biblical truth.

The next chapter that really hit home for me was the chapter on forgiveness. In this chapter he recounts how his younger sister was molested for several years by her sixth-grade teacher, a family friend, and how he was consumed with bitterness towards this man who had betrayed and hurt his family. He went on to describe the work that God wrought in his hard so that he was able to forgive this man.

In the past few years, I have struggled with bitterness towards people, friends, who betrayed and hurt me. It is difficult to forgive, it is so easy to be bitter! And that was why one sentence really stuck in my brain:

“When we’re told to pray for those who’ve hurt us, I’m convinced our prayers are as much for ourselves as they are for the offender… My prayers for others may or may not change them. But my prayers always change me.”

I found The Christian Atheist both refreshing and convicting, and would highly recommend it! I would give The Christian Atheist an “A”.

Have you read The Christian Atheist? If so, what are your thoughts?

 

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Review of “To Kill A Mockingbird”

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To Kill A Mockingbird is one of those books that is lauded as a classic. However, some “classics” fall short and leave you wishing you had read another book. Not so with To Kill A Mockingbird.

While considered a classic for several reasons, from the fact that it won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize to being a book that deals with hard topics, the story is one that stretches generations, with timeless themes.

“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”

To Kill A Mockingbird is not just a classic novel, however. Rather, it is a social commentary, a history, and insight into what it was like for the author growing up in a small, rural Alabama town in the 1930’s, the daughter of a lawyer.

When I first opened the book, I entered with the expectation of a good book. People have enjoyed the story for three generations! But I never expected to completely fall in love with the characters.

The story introduces us to Scout, the daughter of Atticus Finch, a well-respected, if unpopular, lawyer and is told through her eyes. I have to say there is something very endearing about Harper Lee’s style of writing– it is so real.

“Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

While it could be argued that Lee addressed many issues in her stunning novel, from race relations and justice to respect and compassion, the overarching theme I saw in the book was defending the innocent. No matter who they are.

Parents should be warned before handing the novel over to young children, however. The book does contain some foul language, and a large part of the story deals with the subject of rape. The potentially objectionable (for some) topic of Halloween is discussed, as well.

“If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other?”

Overall, the book was well written, based on sound theological principles, and is one that I look forward to reading many times in the future. I would give To Kill A Mockingbird an “A+”.

Have you read To Kill A Mockingbird? If so, what are your thoughts?

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