Tuesday, August 10, 2004

A challenging, hard-hitting piece of writing

I want to say, "Go buy this book." But I'd have to warn you that it probably won't be "a fun read." Worthwhile; yes. Challenging and thought-provoking; yes. Fun? Nope. No way.

I also want to say, "Thank God for whatever it took for this author to write this book." But so far as I can tell, it took an incredible amount of pain and suffering to be able to write it, and I really can't thank God for that. I'm certainly arrogant and pompous...but not nearly that pompous.

What am I talking about? It's stumbling toward faith: my longing to heal from the evil that God allowed, by Renee' Altson. I found it quite by accident, while chasing down a series of virtual rabbit-holes from one blog to another. I started with a link from Laura Waters Jackson's Magdalen Institute blog, which led to Altson's blog, then to her book's website, and the online PDF sample of her book (which I'd encourage you to read here).

This book raises questions that I'd really rather not ask, let alone answer. Yet they are questions which we as people of faith are called to address every single day (whether we choose to or not). Faith in a "good-times God" often seems a lot easier to live with (and understand) than a God who seems to really pay attention when life gets messy. But I've found it's in my own deepest struggles that my faith seems most important, and God seems most real (although conversely most distant).

It's also true for me that when I'm hip-deep in processed Puppy-Chow, it's very, very easy for me to believe all sorts of trash about God and God's faithfulness (or lack thereof). But when I remember that God (as I misunderstand God) is a Supreme Being of love, and it's just us folks down here who pervert that love, I find that the trash of life is somewhat easier to deal with and live with. But I also realize that my often-simplistic view of faith frequently comes a-cropper on issues of theodicy, and I've got miles to go (and grow) on this subject.

As soon as I get beyond the "survival-mode" level of existence, I'm getting my own copy of this book. (If you look on the book website link above, you'll find that ordering the book from the Zondervan Youth Specialties website benefits a safe-house for domestic violence. How can you beat that?)

Pass it on. I think this is an author - and a topic - that needs hearing.

No comments: