book reviews

February 10, 2009 | 2 Comments

I’ve worked through another small pile of books that I received as an Ooze Select Blogger. Publishers partner with the Ooze to send me free books, and I tell you what I think about them on my blog. Here are some titles I received throughout the fall that I’ve had a chance to work through:

Not the Religious Type: Confessions of a Turncoat Atheist, by Dave Schmelzer – It’s hard to argue with someone’s story, and it’s also easier to be interested. Schmelzer has a good writing style and comes off as a likable guy that I’m sitting down for a conversation with. Not to mention that pastors a large Vineyard in the midst of the academic elites of Boston…something that I wouldn’t expect. If I have a critique, it comes from the subtitle…Schmelzer’s atheism was more of a questioning faze in his late teens. The book addresses it, but I don’t think it is the most suitable subtitle.

If God Disappears: 9 Faith Wreckers and What to Do about Them, by David Sanford – I shy away from books that have a number in the title meaning that the book is just a long list. (Usually, it seems like they could be reduced to an article without losing much). Strike 1 for this book, and strike 2 was the generic cover. But you know what? I think it wasn’t too bad. I’m not really in a season of life where I question what God is doing, so it was hard to engage personally with the book, but I liked the tone enough that I think I could recommend this book to someone who is in questioning God. In fact, if you’re feeling that, leave a comment, and I’ll send you the book. I’d be curious to hear what you think of it.

Deliver Us from Me-Ville, by David A Zimmerman – Based on the title and concept of the book, this is a book that we need. This is a book that I need. But I couldn’t connect with it. Honesty demands that I tell you I only got halfway through, but I felt like there was a flaw with that book (that perhaps was better addressed in the part I didn’t read). It seems like a book about getting over “Me” should focus on how I live in relation to others, but mostly it focused on the internal. The approach is what I need to do about me, and it seems that to get over me, I need others. But others have been favorable about this book, so maybe it really is just “me”!

  • wade

    My wife and I and some friends had our weekly Bible Study last night. We are going through the Nooma videos and were on the one about rhythm – about how God is a song and we can be in tune or out of tune. It talks about he characteristics of God; that He is love, compassion, truth, mercy, forgiveness and so on. One of the ladies asked this question – “How do you know God is all these things, He says He is, but the whole old testament is filled with anger, jealousy, and killing. There is even some of that in the New Testament, and Jesus often comes across as (excuse the word) a bit of an arrogant prick.” It absolutely floored me. The honesty of her question, the pain and questioning behind it, and the fact that no matter what “good Theological answer” I had, I still couldn’t address her pain and doubt. What would you say? Or do? We prayed, that’s all I could think of. I don’t expect you to send me the book as we live in Canada, but is it something that might address these kinds of thoughts and questions?
    Thanks for your posts.

  • Wade,
    Thanks for the comment.

    I have to say, I love her honesty! I’m not sure how well this book would address those questions…or more deals with issues of the heart people are having, or personal circumstance. It doesn’t so much flow as an apologetic type of work. I know on Amazon you can see the table of contents and some sample pages. Take a look at it there, and let me know if you want it. I don’t mind sending it to you…even in Canada!