MY REVIEW AND THOUGHTS: I’m going to give this book a 4 star rating.
THE GOOD PARTS: I liked the author’s description of 90’s evangelicalism, and the way it seemed he was disillusioned about the process. The “repeat after me” altar calls, the colored bracelets. “Walking people through” the steps on how to get saved, as if it were a recipe. I have had the same disillusionments myself. I have seen church numbers grow on paper due to this kind of outreach and preaching, but it all seems so surface and fake. The growth doesn’t happen. The internal change isn’t there. There is something wrong about this. I’m glad that this author is challenging these things. I was also pleased by the voice used throughout. The author did not come across as “in your face” or pushy. He didn’t come across as having all the answers and telling everyone else that they were wrong. He simply shared his thoughts and feelings in an almost conversational tone, leaving the reader free to either agree or disagree without feeling defensive. This is an art that I wish more people could master.
THE PARTS THAT BOTHERED ME: To most it’s a small thing, but as a mental health professional, I am bothered when people throw out real diagnoses to describe normal everyday occurrences. In this book the author uses the term schizophrenic to explain something (that actually sounded more in line with the definition of bipolar, but that’s not my point here) and he used the term ADHD in his acknowledgements to describe his writing style. When this occurs, it minimizes the very real problems that people actually living with such diagnoses have, and makes the disorders that much harder for people to understand. Part of my passion is educating about mental health issues, and it’s the casual use of terms such as this that does so much harm, even when that was not the intent. I winced at every casual use of terms such as these, and it did take away from my enjoyment of what the message of the book is really about.
This book will be donated to a Free Little Library in my local area.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.