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O Me of Little Faith: True Confessions of a Spiritual Weakling Paperback – May 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Doubt can play an important role in a healthy spiritual life. This statement may seem counter-intuitive, but Boyett, popular speaker and author of Pocket Guide to the Afterlife, illustrates its truth through his own faith struggles. Grounded in Scripture and Christian history, the author provides examples of great religious thinkers who experienced their own trials of doubt about God, faith, and the church. But it is when he weaves in humorous, even poignant, autobiographical anecdotes that his writing springs to life. One fascinating highlight is the discussion regarding the "hidden God," a phrase used by many great religious figures to describe just how different God is from human categories and understanding. Ultimately, the author's point is clear: if there were no doubt, there would not be faith. The author is comfortable with a snarky, self-deprecating style that will appeal to the under-40 crowd, although older readers may not appreciate it. For anyone wrestling with doubt about religious faith, however, this memoir provides a chance to examine the experience with levity. (May) (c)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Doubt can play an important role in a healthy spiritual life. This statement may seem counter-intuitive, but Boyett, popular speaker and author of Pocket Guide to the Afterlife, illustrates its truth through his own faith struggles. Grounded in Scripture and Christian history, the author provides examples of great religious thinkers who experienced their own trials of doubt about God, faith, and the church. But it is when he weaves in humorous, even poignant, autobiographical anecdotes that his writing springs to life. One fascinating highlight is the discussion regarding the 'hidden God,' a phrase used by many great religious figures to describe just how different God is from human categories and understanding. Ultimately, the author's point is clear: if there were no doubt, there would not be faith. The author is comfortable with a snarky, self-deprecating style that will appeal to the under-40 crowd, although older readers may not appreciate it. For anyone wrestling with doubt about religious faith, however, this memoir provides a chance to examine the experience with levity. (May) Jason Boyett, Zondervan (Zondervan)
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As you read through the book, you quickly discover that Boyott is a huge worry wort. Understatement. Unless he is exaggerating for the sake of effect, the guy's got some anxiety issues. I couldn't help but wonder if his lack of trust in life was related to his lack of trust in God (or vice versa?). He didn't seem to have a lot of faith in life, period.
I felt that many of Boyott's qualms with God were less about God and more about extreme fundamentalist Christianity. This book was supposed to be about doubting *Christianity* not about doubting whether the extremely conservative Southern Baptist Church has it right. I would have never bought a book on the latter.
While Boyott makes some decent points, but he often rambles on in a way that reminds me of the pot head philosophy majors in college. It often felt like he couldn't get to the point. That irritated me, even though there is something else about his writing that is very likable... in a puppy dog kind of way.
Even though Boyott identifies himself as a "doubting Christian," he didn't really talk about the death and resurrection of Jesus as something he embraced. Yes, he likes the teaching of Jesus, but who doesn't? Almost anyone of any religion likes what Jesus had to say, but that doesn't make them a Christian.
Finally, I felt this book was more about the reasons not to believe than reasons to believe. If I wanted to read about reasons not to believe in Christianity, I would have bought The God Delusion by Dawkins or something along those lines. I was hoping he would discuss his doubts but also the rebuttals to those doubts. NOT wrap everything up perfectly with a pretty bow on top. But take us through a journey. This felt very flat.
I am a Christian who has doubts. I am not a conservative Christian and am, in many ways, disenchanted with American Christianity. If you are looking for a book on doubts, this book does not hold a candle to Evolving in Monkey Town. Perhaps I would have liked this book more had the bar not been set so high by Evans.
I stumbled across Jason Boyett and his writing when another blog I follow mentioned him. From that time on, I've read every post of his and have felt like kin when I found out he was writing a book on doubting God. While every now and again I doubt God's existence, for me; it's doubting my salvation. But nonetheless doubt is doubt and being able to relate to someone who openly admits he doesn't always feel God or hear God and isn't trying to hide it, is right up my alley. And Jason grew up as a Southern Baptist like me, so I can definitely relate to how us doubters can be perceived among the denomination.
I appreciate Jason's ability to take deep philosophical themes (for or against the existence of God) and explain them in a simple, understandable, easy to digest way (maybe that's why he's the master of the pocket guide). What makes this book great is the personal footnotes, albeit not always a book citation, but a quirky remark on what made him write what he's referencing or what we, the reader may be thinking. You'll know what I'm talking about when you read the book.
What kept the page turning was some of the humorous things Jason talked about that I've seriously thought about myself. For example, when talking about the frustrations of when people pray out loud, I now count how many times someone uses the word "just". I've honestly thought about wanting to get tinted windows so I can sing or pray in the car without people thinking I was crazy. But Jason had a better idea, get a fake blue tooth ear piece. It's more funny now after reading the book when he wrote a post a month or so prior about recording the audio book version when he said something along the lines of "make sure not to write out philosophical big wigs like Kierkegaard too many times." Because at one point he had written Keirkegaards name on one page more times than Joel Osteen blinks in a sermon.
I especially enjoyed the term "Eschatological agnostic" meaning it's someone who doesn't understand the end times. Personally, when people ask me about the end times, if we'll get raptured, pre, mid, or post trib, I say, "I believe in the pan theory. When it happens it'll all pan out."
There were a couple of times where I felt the book was repetitious. When I wrote my notes down, the repetitive ideas were at the end, i.e. an idea from chapter 3 was talked about in chapter 9 and 10. (I won't name them, because maybe you won't notice or care) Maybe it was a recap sort of thing and I know all my English teachers always told me to never introduce a new issue at the end of an essay or paper, but the recapping left me thinking, "I heard you say this before, let's talk of other fun and honest things."
There were times where I felt the book glossed over certain bible characters' doubts like a laundry list style. I realize the focus of the book wasn't to do a book report of these people but it would have been nice to spend a little bit more time really understanding their doubt.
The honesty that was apparent in Jason's tone through out the book was refreshing. And the idea of owning up to our doubts as Christians was encouragement for me. So many times in church we're just told to have child like faith and just believe, read your bible, go to church and pray. But I have so many questions and it was a good reminder in the book pointing out that Jesus said to ask, seek and knock (Anybody ever notice the acronym for that is ASK?)
What I can relate to deep in my heart is when he says, "In my life, I struggle with the paralyzing nature of doubt. Why pray if I don't know what good it does? Why lead my small group if I have serious questions about the subject matter? Why address a congregation in a sermon if I'm not even close to figuring anything out? Religious doubt makes me want to sit back and do nothing." This is a great struggle for me because I used to help out with youth but after a couple of months, I shrug my shoulders and say, "What's the point? If I really told them how I was feeling or what I was thinking, I probably wouldn't be allowed to teach."
This book isn't going to remove any of your doubt (which some may think is a negative thing, but I see it as a way of searching out God and who he is, also it's working out our salvation with fear and trembling). But Jason encourages his readers to be real and reminds those of us who do doubt in some way, not to be white washed tombs.
But the best encouragement I got from the book was this:
It's time to get our Kung Fu Grip on!
Most recent customer reviews
I love Jason's honesty and his writing style which infuses humor throughout.Read more