My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I chose to read this book because it was recommended by someone I follow on Instagram. I hadn’t read anything from this author (unless I might have read something she wrote online, but I haven’t read anything intentionally). The only things I knew about her was that she was considered controversial in some Christian circles, and she leaned left socially and politically.
The book is her journey being raised in the church and then going through doubt and a faith deconstruction before building it back up and continuing to do so. We definitely had similar upbringings, but I would say that my journey from college forward was different. We have different perspectives and personalities, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book.
What I loved most was how she put the well-known Bible stories in their historical or literary context, how the first readers or hearers of these words would have received them. How the little nuances that revealed some pretty radical thinking for that time period. It challenges me to look at the Bible through new eyes, through others’ eyes. And to realize that while the Bible is God-inspired, it was written by men reacting to their worlds.
I didn’t always agree with her conclusions. I think, for example, we see miracles differently. But I never felt like she was trying to push her way of thinking or her beliefs onto the reader. I think she was merely sharing her journey.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone searching beyond the surface of a Bible story, or someone who might be struggling with doubt or their own faith deconstruction. I think she sums it up in this sentence, “Our relational God has given us a relational sacred text, one that, should we surrender to it, reminds us that being people of faith isn’t as much about being right as it is about being part of a community in restored and restorative relationship with God.”