Another Gospel?: A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity by Alisa Childers
My rating: 2.5 stars.
Apologetics is a western bird as it addresses two sick branches on the western Church’s tree: atheism, and what’s currently called progressivism. Alisa Childers is also very much a western bird, both in the deconstruction and reconstruction of her Christian faith.
I was once asked to teach a course on Apologetics in a bible college in India. I agreed, but as I was preparing the course I realized what a mistake I’d made. It was like going to the desert to teach a course on snowman building.
I don’t see anyone steeped in Progressive Christianity changing their mind from this book, but maybe that is not the book’s intention. I imagine it will mostly appeal to millennial western Christians struggling with the same issues Childers did.
I thought her sections on the atonement were good. Her thoughts on hell were lazy. Most of all her other thoughts can be found readily on apologetics blogs.
I did read the entire book cover to cover without getting bored, so that earns it a star or two.
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I discovered Andrew Klavan, not through his books, but through his conservative political podcast on the Daily Wire. I’ve since read two of his books: Don’t Say a Word and The Great Good Thing.
The Great Good Thing is Klavan’s memoir — his life story focusing on his growth from secular Jew to agnostic/atheist to Christian. I say his “growth” as it is easy to see in this memoir that Klavan becomes a healthier and happier person in his life-long transition from empty religion to saving grace.
This book is for intellectuals and fans of literature. If you’re hoping for a bunch of touching mushy stories, you will be disappointed. Klavan is an author and political commentator — he lives in the realm of ideas. Therefore, Klavan’s discovery of God was through that realm. His journey began by reading and studying all the works which made western civilization what it is: the greatest culture the world has ever known. Underlying this culture all throughout is Christianity.
Andrew Klaven also discovered God through joy. At one point in the book he mentions how, with most people, their relationship with Christ leads them to joy, but with him it was the opposite — his joy led him to Christ. After many years of depression and hopelessness, Klavan was “cured” of his emptiness through the help of a psychiatrist and the growing realization that love really was the most important part of life. And, love is not just some vague idea in an uncaring universe — love comes from a real and living God.
Before becoming a Christian, Klavan began to pray regularly in his life, and through his prayers God told him to get baptized. He did, and ever since has been a devoted Christian.
Being a realist and a skeptic, Klavan makes it clear throughout the book that his conversion was never based on feelings or sentimentality — it was his reason which led him to Christ. This is why I say this book is for intellectuals: people who like things to make sense; people who like to reason their way through problems, and get annoyed when they’re expected to do otherwise.
I gave it 5/5 stars.
An Orthodox Jew Reviews Andrew Klavan’s ‘The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ’
Book of the Month/January 2017 by Douglas Wilson