Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The Way of Hope - A Book Review

The way of hope claims to be about "sexual identity, same-sex marriage, and the church" (subtitle). And it is. But it also isn't. It's more. It's about surviving abuse. It's about letting go of perfectionism and performing and embracing grace (though the author seems to focus more on us giving ourselves grace than God's grace). It's about facing your monsters - sins and addictions - and experiencing God defeating them.

We might not all be struggling with sexual identity, but we are all struggling with our own personal monsters and, for that reason, I would recommend this book to everyone who desires help through that struggle.

The Way of Hope opened my eyes to how the words I say and things I do can so deeply affect my daughters! It opened my eyes to how I treat others both in the church and in the world around me! It made me acknowledge the existence of personal monsters I'd rather pretend didn't exist and face monsters I already know too well!

Melissa Fisher takes us on a journey through her life - childhood through to now, through experiences of intense pain to embracing the same-sex lifestyle to encountering God and freedom from that lifestyle. It truly is a story of hope!

I would have liked to see more dealing with how the church needs to/can address this issue of sexual identity and same-sex marriage. It was very clear that we can't condemn the person, nor can we condone the lifestyle. She clearly acknowledges that it is sin. But it wasn't clear how we can do this as a church - how we can love but not condone (and make it clear we're not condoning sin). More can be written on this.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it, I recommend with caution. THere is much good in here, much about God's love, much about hope and salvation from sin (through Christ). BUT the last few chapters reveal a works righteousness type of theology that concerns me. There is a LOT written about the work we need to put in to find this freedom, hope, etc. but nothing about God's grace. This is where I believe the book can begin to be discouraging for people on a similar journey.

That being said, Ms. Fisher does an excellent job of guiding her readers to The Way of Hope! This book will be on my list of books to re-read and books to lend out!

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.