In an effort to read more non-fiction this year, I turned to inspirational books.
Searching is the first of seven books I hope to read by the end of 2021 that could be classified as “inspirational.” The author declares that “…small-minded, boxed-in formulas of modern religion…” may not be the TRUTH. In a dozen-to-earth, frank manner, Miller addresses the reader who may have “felt that Jesus is someone you respect and admire–but Christianity is something that repels you.” Using strong words as “repel,” and sometimes outrageous language, Miller’s creativity in presenting his version of Christianity mirrors that of Anne Lamott or other non-traditional inspirational writers. The book has been called “one of the evangelical book market’s most creative works” by Christianity Today.
My favorite chapter (as a Lit major) is “The Gospel of Jesus: Why William Shakespeare Was a Prophet.” Miller presents the concept of salvation through a careful analysis and comparison to the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet. His parallels are outstanding and his originality of thought and pen are amazing. This is definitely an author I’ll read again!
This 2014 publication by my second favorite inspirational author (second to Max Lucado), borrowed from our church library, was one of four books the author, Phillip Yancey, wrote about the “endangered state” of Grace. In this book he asks Christians some vital questions: Why do so many people dislike Christians? Why does the church stir up such negative feelings? Why has the church lost its respect, influence, and reputation in today’s world? In doing so, he infers that the answers lie in actions and attitudes we as Christians hold which cause these questions even to be asked. Max Lucado states that this book is “worth reading,” and BONO, a leading activist recommends it as well.
It deals with how artists, activists, and pilgrims are “expressing their faith in ways that disarm even the most cynical critics.” Section one, “A World Athirst” specifies how to reclaim the Good News. Section three poses the question, “Is It Really Good News?”, dealing with “The God Question,” “The Human Question,” and “The Social Question.” These two sections alone make the book a worthwhile read. Yancey deals as well with the ticklish issue of Christians and politics.
In Vanishing Grace, Yancey reminds all Christians that Hebrews 12:15 admonishes us to, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God…” This book will help the thoughtful, caring Christian to do just that in an acceptable manner.