Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Book Reviews 4! The End (For now)

Okay, it's totally Tuesday, but I hadn't finished reading yet! So, today:

Provocative Faith
by Matthew Paul Turner
2005, Fleming Revell

First of all, you just gotta love that his name is Matthew Paul. I mean, I trusted him just because of the apostolic name. Turner was raised, like many of us, in a legalistic church that made him basically crazy. Like many of us, he went through the motions, making all those appropriate Christian noises of survival that mark us as viable church members, all the while craving more. Unfortunately, he chose a rather unsavory way to fulfill those needs. His downfall, however, opened him up to the amazing grace one gets when we come to the end of ourselves. Amen and amen.

Seven years later, Matthew Paul emerged having learned to live an authentic faith: loving recklessly and relentlessly, living in relationship, and being honest about our journey.

Hey, that sounds familiar. If only I'd written that book.


But, I digress. So, here is a book that ragamuffin diva fans will find most familiar. He's honest, and relevant (he writes for the magazine, for heaven's sake), bringing a freshness to the gospel message that too often grows stale.

I think you'll dig it.

And finally,

90 Minutes in Heaven
by Don Piper
2005, Fleming Revell

I'll admit it. I wasn't thrilled about the prospect of reading this book. It reminded me of so many other, "I went to heaven for three days" or "I spent my summer in Hell being tormented relentlessly by the evil spawn of Satan." These books are usually met the kind of histrionic fervor that is the stuff of my nightmares. Remember "Pigs in the Parlor"? I don't. I blocked it from memory, thank God.

So, I pick this book up reluctantly and couldn't help but fall into the story. It's compelling, I mean, he was like, dead, for 90 minutes, and this guy is praying for him and the next thing you know he's back, and jacked up at that.

Now it's one thing to get a glimpse of heavenly bliss, it's another to find your body wracked with pain with a grueling recovery awaiting. I don't know if I'd have been relieved or ticked off, and honestly, I found his recovery more compelling than the heavenly stuff. Maybe that's just me. I think I want to be surprised. I don't want Home to be described to me. There's a comfort in knowing that Jesus will be there, and His mom, and all my favorite Bible people. My great-grandma. That's heaven enough for me.

But, I think it will be comforting to people who get into that kind of thing, as well as inspiring to those who are in chronic pain.

Whew, I suck at book reviewing, but I tried. Thanks ladies who sent the titles to me, for giving me the opportunity.

Much love,


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Bonnie Calhoun said...

Well....I give you a real person post (you need the verifier to keep that stuff off) You are NOT a bad reviewer. You made me want to get two of those books. you add a whole new dimension to reviewing...God Bless you!!

Connie said...

Now I didn't think there was another soul on earth besides me and my friend Jo-Ann who knew that dreadful book "Pigs in the Parlour". She was given it by a parishioner who took exception to the number of owls, to say nothing of the Toby jugs, which decorated the walls of her 'manse.' It has been a source of amusement for us for years...so I'm rather sorry that this last book turned out to be somewhat captivating. There is nothing so hopeful as finding a really bad book in print.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

LOL Sorry for the pester post about Monday being gone. Couldn't help myself. (Someone needs to tape my hands to my sides so I can't type anymore!)

I'm interested in 90 Minutes in Heaven, I met the guy that ghost wrote it... Cec Murphy, about a month ago. Interesting guy. His writing class was pretty good.

Dee said...

Girl, you've done a great job at these reviews. Now I think I can hang up my reviewing cap. I have two piles of books over here. Want them? :)

Rags said...

Hi, turned a wrong corner and came into your blog. Book reviews.. always want to find them but do not know where to turn. I'm a ragamuffin of sorts... just wondering what's your recommendation on good books about a being a nut for Christ ?
Anyway even if you don't have one, i still want to say keep up the good work... I'll be looking out for these books in the shops soon (if I can find it here in Singapore)

Matthew Paul Turner said...

Thank you so much for your kind words about Provocative Faith. When you're a writer, you never know how people will accept a project. Thank you so much.

Matthew Paul Turner