Book Reviews: Books With Warnings
August 29, 2011 in: Book Reviews
Pagan Christianity authors Frank Viola and George Barna promised that their book would provoke me to seriously reexamine my Christianity. That seemed like a tall order for a simple book, but I have to confess they were pretty successful.
This book explores how many church traditions have no basis in the Bible, but were actually adopted from pagan practices. Pagan in this case means culture, everything from Greco-Roman paganism to the Puritans. Careful research shows the truth in that bold statement. The humorously accurate descriptions of contemporary worship revealed that we do things that way… well, why do we do things that way? There is no order of service printed in the New Testament.
As a good Baptist, Sunday night church was never something I questioned. Turns out, the practice came about with introduction of electricity and church members found it really neat to go to church at night. Other ideas the authors caused me to reconsider are worship styles and, perhaps most shocking of all, tithing.
This is not a light read, as the authors accurately warned, but it is easy enough to follow and not overdone with research or footnoting. At the end of each chapter is a fabricated Q&A, which seemed to be a way to sneak in more arguments that were not necessary.
One evening a few months ago, I asked the Lord a very specific question that had been gnawing at my soul for a quite a while. The next day, a Facebook friend posted a link to
What Are You Waiting For.
While not exactly question I was seeking, it was close enough that this seemed like a divine book recommendation.
Author Dannah Gresh opens with the warning that this book is “gritty” and if you’re the kind of girl who likes church more than the real world, you shouldn’t read it. She then proceeds to share a sugary rendition of how her husband proposed to her at Christian college. That was so far removed from reality as far as I was concerned, I almost stopped reading.
What Are You Waiting For: The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex explores the Hebrew word yada and makes some interesting connections between knowing God and physical intimacy.
This book is refreshing in that it speaks directly to virgins in particular. Given the sex-saturated nature of our society, it fills a need that has been largely ignored by the church and Christian teachers. Gresh does address masturbation, pornography and homosexuality. In one chapter, she interviewed women who were virgins when they got married. The last half of the book, however, read like a meandering journal entry and used an overabundance of exclamation points. I was disappointed that Gresh suggested that every good Christian girl who “waits” will find love, get married and have a fabulous sex life, probably by the time she’s 25.
The warning in this case wasn’t really necessary; I would recommend this book for women in college and older teens.