So when this book came into my mailbox, I immediately thought of my mom, Ruth. Each month, she meets with a book group to discuss works that provoke thought and deeper exploration of life, particularly aspects of faith. Thus, when Jason T. Berggen’s book 10 Things I Hate about Christianity showed up, I immediately thought of my mom. (Plus, my mom is a really talented, really funny writer in her own right, so I love to show her off when I can.)
Here’s what Mom had to say:
Every once in a while, I run across someone who says they would love to come to Jesus but there are all these sticky issues in the way, like hell, all those rules and sin. It would happen even more often when I was a Youth Director and some of our teenagers were just trying to think through the faith theyâ€™d grown up with.
Jason Berggrenâ€™s 10 things I Hate about Christianity: Working through the Frustrations of Faith is a good guide for both groups and a lot more of use besides. Written with clarity, honesty and plenty of humour, Berggren talks personally about the issues he and every Christian should confront at some time or other and helps to open our minds to wider paths than we might have considered before.
10 things is a good book to keep on hand because sometime we are going to run into another of those thinking, questioning folks.
I know I run into these folks all the time; I am one of these folks some of the time, so maybe I should get my review copy back from Mom so that I have it on hand – or maybe I should just order another one.
In either case, I like books that challenge me to see things in new ways, and I love books that allow for the space in faith for us to question, be angry, mourn, and get frustrated over the mysteries of God. So much of Christianity seems to exclude questions and anger and grief – my guess is people hide these things because their fearful or because we have been taught that these things are shameful. I disagree – asking questions, getting angry (not bitter but angry), and letting ourselves steep in the pain of life so that we can move through this journey with more strength and an ounce more wisdom – these are the things God loves us through. Just look at the book of Lamentations.
So thanks, Mom, for this review and for teaching me to question, explore, and rage against God while also reminding me that God loves me all the while.
– Ten Things I Hate About Christianity by Jason T. Berggren