Thursday, April 30, 2009

Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris

I don't know if you had noticed or not but I do have a little section on the right hand side of the blog that has what book I am reading other than the book of the month. You may also have noticed that since I added this feature the book has not changed for quite some time. Sorry! I have been reading Amazing Grace, A vocabulary of Faith by Kathleen Norris since February. It must be a record for the longest it has ever taken me to finish a book! And part of that is because I have been so busy. Thankfully this book is not a story, it is a non-fiction where each chapter is different. It's great that it is one that you can pick up and read a couple chapters and come back and not have to try to catch back up on a story. Since I added that portion to the blog I decided that when I finish that extra book I will also give you a brief review of it and what's on the back of the book cover in case you may want to read it too. Plus I will let you know if a book will or will not be a candidate for a future selection. So without further adieu here is what the back of the book cover says:

Struggling with her return to the Christan church after many years away, Kathleen Norris found it was the language of Christianity that most distanced her from faith. Words like "judgment," "faith", "dogma," "salvation," "sinner" - even "Christ" - formed what she called her "scary vocabulary," words that had become so codified or abstract that their meanings were all but impenetrable. She found she had to wrestle with them and make them her own before they could confer their blessings and their grace. Blending history, theology, story-telling, etymology, and memoir, Norris uses these words as a starting point for reflection, and offers a moving account of her own gradual conversion. She evokes a rich spirituality rooted firmly in the chaos of everyday life - and offers believers and doubters alike an illuminating perspective on how we can embrace ancient traditions and find faith in the contemporary world.

I like the fact that she does go over this "scary vocabulary" that can turn off many people to the Christian Church. I think she writes in a way that is appealing to both the believer and non-believer because as the back of the book cover states she had to, "return to the Christian Church." She lets you know that she has been a skeptic too and still has to deal with those who don't understand why she has returned to the church. I think that those who are unsure or scared off by all the "lingo" that is used will relate to what she is writing about. Now when I say that it is a bit like reading the dictionary, but better, please don't take it the wrong way. Yes, who would want to read a dictionary but this is so much more. She gives you a word and then proceeds to tell you a story and give you some background on that word and her opinion on it. Odds are this isn't exactly what our book club is looking for so it will not be a future selection anytime soon. I was able to use some quotes out of her book for my blogging on The Shack so that was good. I think it would be a great resource to have but just not the type of book that I am looking to read right now. Let me know if you have any questions.

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