Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Finding God in the Dark by Ted A. Kluck & Ronnie Martin

I first requested this book because of the title. At one time or another, every Christian faces personal challenges that make them lose sight of their faith in God. One seemingly tragic event can alter our lives because we wonder why God would allow it to happen.

Let me just say that I expected this book to be filled with advice and biblical truths from these two authors. And truthfully, there were some Biblical insights but not nearly what I would have expected there to be. Instead, the authors gave personal accounts of everything that had gone wrong in their lives that marked years of questioning God. One of the authors, Ted Kluck, even went so far as to say that for awhile he did his best to avoid people when he was at church and gave three descriptions of fellow church-goers. The "How You doin' college kid" who asks how you are doing just so he can talk about himself, the "How are you really doing lady" who means well but pressures you into talking deeply by making creepy eye contact and putting her hand on your shoulder. And finally the "How's work going guy" who really doesn't care how work is going for you, but asks you so that he can talk about how awesome HIS job is. This same chapter opened with a quote from Madonna.

In the next chapter, the other author, Ronnie Martin dives deep into his experiences as a failed musician. He thought God was leading him to play music as a profession, but later came to realize that he only wanted to be a musician for selfish reasons which actually had nothing to do with God. This would have been fine if the author had stopped there, but instead he went on to say that a majority of Christian artists feel they are doing ministry but in actuality they are also doing it for selfish purposes. While this may be true, I felt this was quite a broad statement to make. How could you possibly understand the motives of total strangers? To the reader, it just sounds as if Martin is making a generalized statement so that he doesn't sound as bad.

So as you can see, this book is not what I really expected to read!

Both of the authors explained how they had sinned and tried to justify those sins before they turned towards God. But in my mind, when I think about reading a book called "Finding God in the dark: Faith, disappointment and the struggle to believe" I really thought it would be more about facing hardships in our lives. Death, sickness, financial upset, failed relationships or things along those lines. Instead it was more about how much the authors had screwed up their lives and then they made themselves sound glorified. At two different points in the book, the authors mentioned smoking cigarettes as a way to cope, and how we want to picture God as our cosmic drinking buddy. Hmm...I can't say that I've ever though of God as my drinking buddy.

All in all, I really disliked this book as you may have guessed. There were a few portions of this book that are biblically sound, but besides those points, I couldn't identify with anything in this book. I rate it as 1 star.

I received this book free from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group to give my honest unbiased opinion.

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