- Paperback: 181 pages
- Publisher: Eerdmans (October 18, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802873995
- ISBN-13: 978-0802873996
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Light When It Comes: Trusting Joy, Facing Darkness, and Seeing God in Everything Paperback – October 18, 2016
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—author of Simplifying the Soul and One Ordinary Sunday
"Light When It Comes is both a literary gem and a cup of blessing for all who long to experience God's presence."
—author of The Undertaking and The Sin-Eater
"An age that has fashioned faith into bludgeon and cudgel, and traded community for self-righteous indignation, might better be illumined by Light When It Comes and by the grace of Anderson's vital, studious witness. The ties of belief that bind us, each to the other, needn't be rope enough to hang, cruel lash or rein or tether. Rather, lifeline, safe mooring, the holy, miraculous lowering of our hobbled, heart-wrecked selves to the place of our redeeming."
Lawrence S. Cunningham
—author of The Seven Deadly Sins and Things Seen and Unseen
"Chris Anderson offers us a triune gift wrapped into a whole: beautiful prose, pastoral experience, and an authentic believing eye turned to our world. This volume is a grace to be received with abundant thanks."
"Here is a book which offers us tools, a method and a motive, for engaging with something unfamiliar in order to find ourselves more fully aware of the familiar presence of God."
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One reviewer characterized the book negatively as a "random collage," while another characterized it positively as a "mosaic." At one point in the book, Chris Anderson describes the Bible as "pericope" - an assemblage of parts that advances truth from many perspectives and with many different voices. Anyone who has read the Bible knows this to be true - it is not monolithic. Similarly, Light When It Comes is not presented as a progressive linear argument, building on one point to the next to a final conclusion. Rather it explores the topics suggested by the Examen, "Trusting Joy," "Facing Darkness," and "Seeing God in Everything," from many different angles to give a nuanced and holistic picture. Some readers may find this approach disorienting, but I found it to be meditative, thought provoking and enjoyable.
Light When It Comes is obviously written from a Catholic Christian perspective, but Chris Anderson does not espouse your grandmother's faith:
"God is dead. The CEO in the Sky is dead. The Great Policeman is dead. The Unwavering Judge is dead. The God we love because he gives us what we want. The God we resent because he doesn't. He has given himself away. He has surrendered his power and he has surrendered his potency so we can't blame him anymore, for hunger and poverty and war, for the injustice and the suffering in the world. He has a body, an ordinary, fragile body, and now that body has been tortured and beaten and hung up before us.
God is dead and we rejoice. God is dead and so our own life becomes possible, our true life -- our life with him, this beautiful, broken man, this beautiful, broken god."
"...doubt isn't contrary to the tradition: it is the tradition."
and how about reading this passage at the next wedding ceremony as an alternative to 1 Corinthians 13:
"Love not only never fails. It always fails. Love is not only patient and kind. It is despised. Love is seen as weak. Love is seen as unmanly. Love puts down its gloves and gets hit in the face. Love never makes a million dollars and never goes viral and never wins the prize. Love has no answers. It doesn't possess the truth but is possessed by the truth. Love is laughed at. Love is made fun of. Love is slapped around and spat on. Love leads us into the desert. Love leads us into loneliness and sorrow."
Words like those might distress and estrange some of his audience. I am not a Catholic, but Chris Anderson and I share the same faith - one that wrestles with real life and persists in love. If you're ready, I highly recommend it.
This was my go-to gift for friends and family this holiday season.