Tuesday, March 23, 2010

66 Love Letters

Title: From God to You 66 Love Letters: A Conversation with God that Invites you Into His Story
Author: Dr. Larry Crabb
ISBN: 978-0-84999-1966-4

From Goodreads:

Dr. Larry Crabb knows that if we could see the larger story of God and humanity, our world would never be the same. That story is found in large part in the sixty-six letters of the Bible.

Written in a conversational first person, as if God is speaking directly to us, Dr. Crabb looks at each individual book in scripture and boils it down to a one- or two-sentence message to us from that particular book. He then unpacks each sentence in a short chapter answering the question, What does God want me to hear from this love letter? The book's epilogue then fits all sixty-six pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together into one coherent paragraph and reveals the beautiful picture of what God has been about since the creation of the world. Far from being comprehensive, this is a personal approach to helping readers know God and his great love for them, his message for all mankind, and how their lives fit into His larger story.

My take:

I didn't enjoy this book. I don't have any problem with the fact that God has written the Bible to us out of His love ~ or that we should be able to talk to Him in a personal, approachable way. What makes me uncomfortable is when someone decides to take on the other side of that conversation and writes what they think God is saying ~ and they aren't staying strictly with the Bible. Plus he seems to believe that the Bible is too difficult for people to understand. With so many new good translations out there, the really important things aren't that hard to grasp.

I am not one of those that thinks we need all the thee(s) and thou(s) in order to be holy, but that pendulum can swing too far in the other direction too. For example, in this book God supposedly says of Genesis that, "The three of Us were making preparations to throw a party, to invite others to a dance, to a dance We've been enjoying since before time began. But there were no 'others' to invite. So at a family council, We decided to create people, human beings just like you whom We could enjoy as they enjoyed Us and all the beauty We had made."

Or "The drama of the first eighteen chapters of My second love letter shows the lengths I must go in order to free weak and helpless people from bondage to an evil power greater than themselves. Ask any sex addict what I'm talking about." Okaaay ... So that's the first example that would pop into God's head? Or is it Dr. Larry Crabb's idea?

Now again, I do think we need to relate but we're back to my pendulum problem. It applies to the idea of respecting God too. Some people were too strict with this: flailed themselves, and thought to please God you had to be perfect and go out and do a bunch of good works. Others think all you need to do is be born because God loves everyone. That's a pendulum swinging too far in both directions. The truth is in the middle. Same with this whole familiarity thing. I think we should be able to talk to God like a friend and approach him without fear ~ but we still need to respect who He is and not rewrite His words and being like this.

I think if it was a book about anyone else who had written a bestselling book and their words were being taken out of context ... someone wouldn't be happy. Of course, the author can always argue God told him to do it. :o) My only point is that there are tons of books about the Bible on the market. They manage to help make the point without trying to "portray" God for the people. There is only one God and I think He does that job just fine by Himself.

This is designed so that you read the chapter and then the book in the Bible. The book is of good quality and it is well written.

I was given this book by Thomas Nelson to review. In no way did that influence my review.

Thomas Nelson Product Page