Review of Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed

August 1st, 2014

tiny_beautiful_things_largeTiny Beautiful Things

Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

by Cheryl Strayed

Vintage Books (Random House), New York, 2012. 353 pages.
Starred Review

My son sent this book to me, and I love it so much. I love his words in the note that accompanied it: “Dear Sugar is… the sort of creature I am startled and pleased to find existing in the world. Like a Mister Rogers of heartbreak and anguish.”

Dear Sugar is an advice column for The Rumpus. There is a lot of heartbreak and anguish here. Definitely not neat and clean situations.

But Sugar (Cheryl Strayed) handles them all with so much grace! She relates things back to her own difficult life experiences and has much humble, practical wisdom to share. And all along, she addresses people with endearments and makes them feel like they’re okay.

I’m going to give some random quotations from her advice below. Perhaps it will give you the sweet flavor.

It’s going to be difficult, but that’s no surprise. The story of human intimacy is one of constantly allowing ourselves to see those we love most deeply in a new, more fractured light. Look hard. Risk that.

Be brave. Be authentic. Practice saying the word “love” to the people you love so when it matters the most to say it, you will.

Trust yourself. It’s Sugar’s golden rule. Trusting yourself means living out what you already know to be true.

Writing is hard for every last one of us — straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.

You need to do the same, dear sweet arrogant beautiful crazy talented tortured rising star glowbug.

There will be boondoggles and discombobulated days.

But it will be soul-smashingly beautiful, Solo. It will open up your life.

I have breathed my way through so many people I felt wronged by; through so many situations I couldn’t change. Sometimes while doing this I have breathed in acceptance and breathed out love. Sometimes I’ve breathed in gratitude and out forgiveness. Sometimes I haven’t been able to muster anything beyond the breath itself, my mind forced blank with nothing but the desire to be free of sorrow and rage.

What’s important is that you make the leap. Jump high and hard with intention and heart. Pay no mind to the vision the commission made up. It’s up to you to make your life. Take what you have and stack it up like a tower of teetering blocks. Build your dream around that.

You asked me for practical matchmaking solutions, but I believe once you allow yourself to be psychologically ready to give and receive love, your best course is to do what everyone who is looking for love does: put your best self out there with as much transparency and sincerity and humor as possible.

As you are surely aware, forgiveness doesn’t mean you let the forgiven stomp all over you once again. Forgiveness means you’ve found a way forward that acknowledges harm done and hurt caused without letting either your anger or your pain rule your life or define your relationship with the one who did you wrong. Sometimes those we forgive change their behavior to the extent that we can eventually be as close to them as we were before (or even closer). Sometimes those we forgive continue being the jackasses that they always were and we accept them while keeping them approximately three thousand miles away from our wedding receptions.

I’ll never know, and neither will you of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.

Isn’t love amazing that way? How it can bend with us through the years? It has to. It must. Lest it break.

Perhaps these give you the flavor. But dip into Tiny Beautiful Things and just see if you can come out again.

cherylstrayed.com
vintagebooks.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on my own copy, given to me by my son.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Review of One Dead Spy, by Nathan Hale

July 31st, 2014

one_dead_spy_largeNathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales

One Dead Spy

by Nathan Hale

Abrams, 2012. 127 pages.
Starred Review

Once again, I’m struck by what a brilliant idea it is to show kids history in graphic novel form.

The frame of this series is pure fantasy. Our hero is Nathan Hale, the Revolutionary War spy. Somehow, I’m simply not surprised that he’s the hero chosen by the author Nathan Hale, who was born in 1976.

Before the historical Nathan Hale’s scheduled hanging, there’s a silly sequence about how he comes up with his famous line, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” When he does, a giant book with the title, The Big Huge Book of American History appears and swallows him whole. But then he comes back, having seen hundreds of years into the future of this country.

The executioner asks, “How could you see the future in a history book? It doesn’t make any sense.”

Nathan Hale answers, “A giant book just swallowed me whole. Does that make sense?”

But then, to prove he’s seen the future, Nathan Hale begins telling stories to the executioner and the British officer overseeing the hanging. They decide he can tell more stories before he hangs, which is the premise of the series.

And the stories Nathan Hale tells are true, with plenty of invented dialog and put into comic book form.

This first book tells about Nathan Hale’s life and his service in the Revolutionary War. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. (And it’s not long, either.)

Did you know that Nathan Hale wasn’t actually a very good spy? He got caught on his first mission. But he was involved in some noteworthy exploits before he became a spy. I especially found interesting the way the cannons from Fort Ticonderoga got moved to liberate Boston Harbor, and the way General Washington had a fort built and moved into place in one night.

I love the warning on the back cover:

HAZARD LEVEL: Yellow/ Lethal

Riots, massacre, starvation, fever, theft, spycraft, mercenaries, sea warfare, land warfare, lightning, exploding cows, and death by hanging.

Do you know any school-age kids who can resist such a warning?

hazardoustales.com
amuletbooks.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Review of Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey, by Loree Griffin Burns and Ellen Harasimowicz

July 28th, 2014

handle_with_care_largeHandle with Care

An Unusual Butterfly Journey

by Loree Griffin Burns
photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz

Millbrook Press, Minneapolis, 2014. 33 pages.
Starred Review

This beautifully photographed book tells the true story of an unusual farm – El Bosque Nuevo, in Costa Rica, where they grow butterfly pupae.

This story begins with a museum in Boston receiving a box full of butterfly pupae which are about to become butterflies. Then it zooms to Costa Rica and shows us the screened greenhouses where the butterfly farmers keep the butterflies.

The book shows all the parts of the process, including feeding the butterflies with crushed bananas and sugar water, searching the leaves for predators, making sure the growing caterpillars get plenty to eat, and gathering the ones almost ready to become pupae.

They explain the stages of an insect’s life. The blue morpho caterpillar grown at El Bosque Nuevo changes its patterns dramatically at each stage of molting.

The pictures show workers sorting hundreds of pupae to send out, shows how they are kept in the museum, and finally shows the wonder of a little girl looking at a newly-emerged butterfly.

For those who want to know more, the back matter is most interesting. This is a nice twist on a simple book about butterflies – shows an actual butterfly farm and the entire process of growing a butterfly.

loreeburns.com
ellenharasimowicz.com
lerneresource.com

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Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Childrens_Nonfiction/handle_with_care.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Sonderling Sunday – Duddler Yarue

July 27th, 2014

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! That time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books. And my comments work again this time!

This week, it’s back to my stand-by, the book that inspired me to start Sonderling Sunday, Der Orden der Seltsamen Sonderlinge, by James Kennedy, otherwise known as The Order of Odd-fish.

Sonderlinge 2

Last time, we left off right around the halfway point, on page 208 in the English version, and Seite 262 auf Deutsch.

Just to set the stage, I’m going to write out the whole first paragraph of this section.

Jo and Ian searched the neighborhood, but they didn’t really know what they were looking for. It wasn’t clear what “Duddler Yarue” would look like, and anyway, the streets were almost deserted. After a half hour of wandering, Jo despaired of ever making any headway, and was ready to give up when they saw an effeminate boy smoking a cigarette on the corner. He watched Jo and Ian idly.

Auf Deutsch:

Jo und Ian suchten das ganze Viertel ab, aber sie wussten nicht einmal genau, wonach sie eigentlich suchen sollten. Es war nicht klar, wie dieser »Duddler Yarue« eigentlich ausschaute, und außerdem waren die Straßen beinahe vollkommen menschenleer. Nachdem sie eine halbe Stunde herumgeirrt waren, glaubte Jo nicht mehr daran, dass sie noch irgendetwas erreichen würden. Sie wollte schon aufgeben, als sie einen etwas affektierten Jungen an der Ecke stehen sah, der eine Zigarette rauchte. Er beobachtete Jo und Ian gelangweilt.

“suspicious” = Verdächtiges

“clue” = Spur (“trail”)

“to boil over” = die Beherrschung zu verlieren (“the mastery to lose”)

“rude” = unhöflich

“street wisdom” = Straßenweisheit

“some guy” = irgendein Bursche

“snapped his fingers” = schnippte mit den Fingern (I just like that one.)

“startled and a little pleased” = erschrocken und zugegebenermaßen auch ein bisschen erfreut
(“frightened and admittedly also a little bit pleased”)

“the sights” = Sehenswürdigkeiten

“secret places” = geheime Orte

“I wouldn’t want you to miss it.” = Ich möchte nicht, dass du das versäumst.

“rather enjoying Ian’s jealousy” = genoss Ians Eifersucht

“teetered back and forth” = zögerte unschlüssig (“hesitated indecisively”)

“turnstile” = Drehkreuz

“Ian bought three tokens and went through properly.”
= Der kaufte drei Münzen und warf sie ordnungsgemäß in den Schlitz.
(“He bought three coins and threw them properly in the slot.”)

And that’s it for tonight! A short one, but it’s nice to get back in the swing of it. After all, Ich möchte nicht, dass du das versäumst.

Review of The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks

July 27th, 2014

superhero_girl_largeThe Adventures of Superhero Girl

by Faith Erin Hicks
colors by Cris Peter
introduction by Kurt Busiek

Dark Horse Books, 2013. 106 pages.
2014 Eisner Award Winner

I didn’t expect to enjoy this graphic novel as thoroughly as I did. It’s made up of strips from a webcomic about a girl who’s a superhero. She can lift heavy objects and leap over tall buildings, but she can’t fly.

In her ordinary life? She’s pretty ordinary. She’s a young adult in a small town that doesn’t have much crime. She’s got a roommate, and she has trouble paying the rent, because she really needs a day job. She has no tragic catalyst in her life that made her a superhero, and she’s always been in the shadow of her superhero brother, Kevin, who is everybody’s favorite and can fly and has corporate sponsorship and looks like a proper superhero.

Superhero girl has some issues. She forgets to take off her mask sometimes when she’s trying to be an ordinary citizen. She goes to a party with her roommate, trying to set her work aside, and gets caught in the thrall of a supervillain who has the power to make everyone think he’s awesome. Then there’s the skeptic, who’s convinced she can’t be a superhero without a tragic back story or a fancier costume. And don’t get started on the time she washes her cape in the Laundromat and it shrinks.

I like what Kurt Busiek says in the Introduction:

Superhero Girl is about life. It’s about being a younger sister, about being a broke roommate, about needing a job, being underappreciated, getting sick, feeling out of place at parties, being annoyed by people carping when you’re doing your best – all wrapped up in the package of being a young superhero in a small-market city where you’re pursuing your dreams but don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

That’s not parody. There may be elements of parody on the surface, but really, that’s rich, human storytelling. It’s telling the truth through humor, and using the trappings of the superhero genre to universalize it, to turn it into something symbolic, so we can all identify with it, maybe more than we could if SG was a paralegal or a barista or a surgical intern. The superhero stuff is the context, the package, and the humanity and emotion and the humor found in it are the content. The story.

This is a story about a young adult starting out in life, pursuing her dream, and struggling to do so. It’s reading that will make you smile.

superherogirladventures.blogspot.com
darkhorse.com

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Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Teens/superhero_girl.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Comments Are Working Again!

July 26th, 2014

I had wondered why I hadn’t gotten comments in months. (Duh!) My statistics had gone way down, too. It turned out that my comments table and my statistics log table were corrupted. The usual repair process didn’t work at all.

So, now I have Good News/Bad News.

Good News: My blog will take comments again! :)
Bad News: ALL the old comments are gone. :(

I also want to note that Yahoo! Web Hosting was NO help at all. If I had it to do over again, I’d definitely choose a different host. They just said they provide a platform for MySQL and WordPress, but don’t provide any support for those.

But I did decide that being able to comment in the future is more important than saving all the old comments for posterity, even though it makes me sad to lose them.

Review of The Careful Use of Compliments, by Alexander McCall Smith

July 23rd, 2014

careful_use_of_compliments_largeThe Careful Use of Compliments

by Alexander McCall Smith
performed by Davina Porter

Recorded Books, 2007. 8 hours on 7 compact discs.

This is the fourth novel about Isabel Dalhousie by Alexander McCall Smith. I’m finding them much more enjoyable via audiobook. Isabel is a philosopher. She muses and thinks about everything that she comes across. In other words, the plots of these books are extremely slow moving. This is fine when you are in the car anyway, and delightful Scottish accents add to the fun.

You’ll be disappointed if you expect a traditional mystery from these books, but Isabel does slowly encounter a puzzle about a painting she’s thinking of buying. Also in the book she explores questions about motherhood, as she has a newborn son, and about her relationship with Jamie, so much younger than she is, and her relationship with her niece Kat. She’s being cut out of her job with the Review of Applied Ethics, and has to deal with the plotters responsible.

If you want an action-packed thriller, don’t pick up these books. But if you want to explore some musings about life and love with a deep thinker, and encounter some interesting situations at the same time, these books are a delight.

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Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Fiction/careful_use_of_compliments.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library audiobook from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Review of Sparky! by Jenny Offill & Chris Appelhans

July 22nd, 2014

sparky_largeSparky!

by Jenny Offill
illustrated by Chris Appelhans

Schwartz & Wade Books, New York, 2014. 36 pages.
Starred Review

The girl in this book wants a pet. After much begging, her mother promises that she can have any pet she wants as long as it doesn’t need to be walked or bathed or fed.

She gets a sloth. She names him Sparky.

Sloths are said to be the laziest animals in the world. It is two days before the girl sees Sparky awake.

She tries to play with Sparky. He’s not very good at Hide-and-Seek or Kung Fu Fighter, but he’s very very good at Statue.

When another girl from school is critical of her pet, Sparky’s owner decides to present a Trained Sloth Extravaganza. Unfortunately, the only trick Sparky learns well is playing dead.

Interestingly, this book doesn’t end with a big bang or a punchy lesson. But we close with the girl sitting in the tree next to Sparky.

“You’re it, Sparky,” I said.

And for a long, long time he was.

This book makes me smile.

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Review of Firefly July, selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

July 21st, 2014

firefly_july_largeFirefly July

A Year of Very Short Poems

selected by Paul B. Janeczko
illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Candlewick Press, 2014. 48 pages.
Starred Review

I’m not proud to say it, but a poetry book has to be something special to wow me. Firefly July is stunning.

The poems chosen have one thing in common: They are all short. They are also fit nicely into the context of a specific season.

A few are well-known, and I’d heard of them in my childhood, such as “The Red Wheelbarrow,” by William Carlos Williams, and “Fog,” by Carl Sandburg. Several more were by poets I’d heard of, such as Emily Dickinson and Langston Hughes. But the majority were entirely new to me. Those, too, were short and sweet and lovely.

Of course, the fact that all the poems are short makes this perfect for young kids looking for their first poem to memorize.

But the stunning part of the book is the way the bright pictures work with the poetry. I love the water lily on the page with this poem:

Water Lily

My petals enfold stamens of gold.
I float, serene, while down below

these roots of mine are deeply stuck
in the coolest most delicious muck.

–Ralph Fletcher

Melissa Sweet’s artwork is hard to describe. There are collage elements and bright colors and unsophisticated line drawings and friendly faces. They work beautifully with the poems in this collection.

candlewick.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Review of Hope Beyond Hell, by Gerry Beauchemin

July 20th, 2014

hope_beyond_hell_largeHope Beyond Hell

The Righteous Purpose of God’s Judgment

by Gerry Beauchemin

Malista Press, Olmito, Texas, 2007. 245 pages.
Starred Review

Years ago, through reading the books of George MacDonald, and through reading the Bible trying to put aside my preconceived notions, I came to believe that the Bible actually teaches that hell is not forever — that it has a redemptive purpose and will eventually be emptied out and every knee will bow to our loving Father. George MacDonald, however, while implying that this is what the Bible teaches, doesn’t lay out an argument of why he believes the Bible teaches this. Gerry Beauchemin, in this book, lays out an excellent argument.

Gerry Beauchemin calls his view “The Blessed Hope.” I like that very much, and much better than “Universalism,” because I think it’s different than what most people think of when they hear “Universalism.” Yes, I believe in hell. But I believe it represents the lengths to which a loving Father will go to bring his children back to Himself. It is not purposeless, everlasting torment.

Now, many Christians will automatically be arguing, “But that’s what the Bible says?” Is it really? I suggest you read this book and rethink that view. And I agree with the author that The Blessed Hope honors the character of God.

God is good even in His judgments. They are not infinite and horrendously cruel, but just, righteous, and remedial.

Many people don’t realize that the view that hell is eternal is not the one the church fathers held. I certainly didn’t realize that. Although this view is common today, it actually originated with Augustine, and so is called the Augustinian tradition here.

First, the author presents the pillars of his argument. The first pillar is the meaning of the Greek word Aion, which is more consistently translated “age” than “eternal.” Interestingly, Augustine, who supported the “eternal” interpretation (which is not consistent with other usage), was one of the first church leaders who wasn’t a native Greek speaker.

Then he talks about Gehenna, the lake of fire, which is every time spoken of as something finite, like prison. Also the word for “destruction,” apollumi is shown to mean “set aside,” “bring to nothing,” not “annihilate.” The author says, “Popular theology claims God is able to do all things except restore the destroyed for whom Christ died. Really?”

He also looks at God’s will and man’s free will. “God ‘will’ have all men to be saved. Does this mean God purposes with intent to accomplish His will, or that He merely desires it with no power to make it happen?”

He sums up the chapter on “Pillars” with this paragraph:

In this chapter, we have examined the foundational pillars upon which belief in infinite punishment is based and found them wanting. How many Christians including pastors and theologians have critically examined these pillars in light of the evidence presented here? I would venture to say very few. Given this evidence, let us explore with a fresh and open mind, unshackled by a flawed system and study the following chapters in sincerity and truth. Is there hope beyond Gehenna and the lake of fire? Might these judgments also have a positive purpose in God’s unfailing plan for man? The answer lies in the very nature of God Himself. Would a truly all-powerful and all-loving Creator bring into existence billions of people knowing well they would suffer for eternity as a result? Would He really pay such a price to get a few to love Him forever? This is what our tradition has taught. Is it true?

I do believe that Gerry Beauchemin goes on to present a wonderfully logical and complete argument for The Blessed Hope. Honestly, his words fill me with joy and love for my loving Father, who is Good, not vindictive and harsh and cruel. I am so glad that the people around me who don’t see things exactly my way will not be suffering in hell for all eternity — even the ones who make some bad choices in this life! (And don’t get me wrong — I wish they’d spare themselves a lot of suffering on that path to Life! But I really do believe God knows what each one needs.)

I’m not going to present all his arguments. Because I’d like people to consider them in full. I will, however, quote some paragraphs that I underlined in my slow savoring of the book.

This is from a chapter on God’s nature:

The longsuffering of our Lord “is” salvation. What a thought! When does the longsuffering of our heavenly Father for His children ever end? Does it end sooner than yours toward your children? The love of God expressed in His longsuffering will do what His brute power could never do — win the hearts of His enemies (Ps. 66:3-4) and make them His friends (Jer. 31:34; Jn. 15:15; Ro. 5:10).

Another interesting paragraph comes after quoting Christ telling his disciples to pray that God would send out laborers into His harvest (Mt. 9:36-38):

Why are we asked to pray for laborers for the harvest? Why are they needed? Doesn’t the text say it is because people are weary, scattered, distressed, and dispirited? But what has our tradition led us to believe? Answer: To pray because all people are on their way to hell! Isn’t there an inconsistency here?

And here is the introductory paragraph to the chapter called “Purpose-Driven Judgment”:

Is there any positive purpose to God’s Gehenna judgment? What purpose does it serve? According to the prevalent theology, its only purpose is to inflict pain. It refuses to acknowledge it has any remedial effect, and presents it merely as a perpetual prison from which its victims can never escape. I intend to show in this chapter the following facts: First, this view is simply unjust, and Scripture does not support unjust punishment of any kind. Second, Scripture affirms death is no obstacle to God in accomplishing His purposes in any life. Third, God is just and His justice satisfies even our God given human understanding of justice. Fourth, the Bible provides clear examples that all His judgments are driven by a positive purpose.

This paragraph echoed my own experiences when I read the Bible after becoming convinced that George MacDonald (who studied Greek) believed the Bible did not teach that hell lasts forever:

Most of us are not aware of how powerfully our paradigms affect how we understand the Scriptures. They force us to conclude certain passages do not mean what they say. Unless we are keenly aware of this, and make a diligent effort to compare Scripture with Scripture, we cannot see truth staring us in the face. It has been a slow, hard process for me. But once I stepped out of the eternal hell paradigm and began seeing Scripture without that filter, I was freed to receive God’s revelation in a fresh new way.

He looks at proclamations from Scripture, the Apostles, church fathers, logic, the character of God, and consequences. Is Christ really the Savior of the World?

Scripture refers to Christ as the Savior of the World. In fact, “Jesus” means savior (Mt. 1:21). The Father sent Him as such (1Jn. 4:14). Though popular theology gives lip service to this title, it actually denies it. It attests instead that Christ is merely the Savior of “some out” of the world. Or again, He is the “wish to be” Savior of the world. If the mass of humanity is lost forever, call Him what you will, He is not the Savior of the world. It does not matter that few, many, or most of the world is saved. Even if none are saved, He would still be referred to as “Savior of the world.” For the reasoning is simple: to offer salvation, makes a savior. That is strange indeed — “The Savior of the world not saved.” What would you think of a lifeguard who was hailed as the hero of the day at the funeral of a young child for merely having offered her a life preserver and then threw it to the other end of the pool?

Here’s an interesting summary:

The Blessed Hope and the Augustinian Tradition present two opposing views of God. Of these two ancient theologies, only the first does justice to the character of our glorious God as He is revealed in Christ. It is what the prophets, the apostles, and the early Church embraced. The second, on the other hand, is shackled by a theology of terror which I contend is the primary reason the Gospel has not yet taken the world by storm. Is it by coincidence that once it dominated the western church the medieval world plunged into the “dark ages”?

I am by no means presenting all the arguments here. If this interests you at all, I strongly recommend this book. As for me? Reading this book filled me with joyful, blessed hope.

hopebeyondhell.net

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Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Nonfiction/hope_beyond_hell.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on my own copy, purchased via Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.