3/12/2013

The Christian Atheist:

A sort of review 


I discovered this book in faraway Cagayan de Oro (CDO) OMFLit bookstore. In between sporadic book signing, I sat down beside a shelf and took the first book that nudged my arm.

The title caught me off guard. I thought it was blasphemous and therefore I shouldn't read it. But as I often do, I talked to myself:

Where have all your years of training in creative work gone? “Expect the unexpected” you used to say. Well, this one's unexpected. When have you become a bigot?

So I scanned the pages. And they did me in; I read further and couldn't put the book down—it hit so close to home.

I got immersed in Groeschel’s honesty and openness, revealing personal struggles and failings. His pain, although said in light, flippant self-deprecating lingo, became the reader's own because at some point in her life she was on the same page.

This book moves quickly from tragedy to hope and back, forward and tumbling over. The author shares sad and happy stories happening to real people we might have all met in our journey.

He tackles many issues—giving and grieving; hope and helplessness; hypocrisy and authenticity; justice and fairness; joy and pain; tragedy and victory—that grip a believer in Christ today, which he tags the Christian atheist (an abomination, according to one book reviewer). 

There are days (okay, many, many days) when I lapse in my faith and misplace my hope in a haystack of modern, complicated nitty-gritty. Ergo, I can be an abomination myself, but after reading the book, I want to move quickly now to the recovery ward.

The Christian Atheist may then be likened to a shrink, a doctor who doesn't give categorical answers, but helps and pushes you to find them: find healing grace to treat the symptoms of a condition that can beset anyone who professes to be a Christian.

I bought my copy in CDO, but you don't need to fly there to get yours. You'll find it in any bookstore or OMFLit Bookshop in Metro Manila.

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