Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Peacegiver

I've been wanting to read this book for years. Literally. I'm not quite sure why it has taken me as long as it has, other than the fact that it's a church book and being the literature heathen that I am, righteous books sometimes stay at the bottom of my often tall stack.

However, now that I've read it I can say that I am glad that I did because it changed how I think. I consider myself on the stubborn end of persuadable so that is saying something.

The Peacegiver uses a story format with conversation, philosophy, parables and Dickens-esque-out-of-body-experiences to shed light on Christ's atonement. The main character is Rick, a 30-something year-old man who thinks his marriage to Carol is beyond repair but the lessons he leanrs about forgiveness can be applied to any struggling relationship. Using two Old Testament examples, Abigail and David (which, embarrassingly enough, was a story that was previously unknown to me) and Jonah's mission to Ninevah, Rick's grandfather guides him like a Greek philosopher to new understandings about sin, blame, forgiveness and peace.

I hesitate to give you the conclusion. I guess I'm being as annoying as Rick's grandfather (and, believe me, he is plenty annoying...even as a kind of guiding angel) who wanted Rick to figure out for himself what the the scriptures were teaching instead of handing over the big "ah-ha!" but those conclusions are powerful. Without question, it has brought additional peace and harmony to my home, my marriage and my relationships with others in the three weeks since I've read this book. That's exciting.

I can't promise ease and enjoyment if you read The Peacegiver. The author uses descriptive similes like a germaphobe uses hand sanitizer (catch that?) and it's very, very slow. Rick's lightbulb takes much longer to turn on than any human I know so it can be frustrating to stay at his pace. However, because the book's reward, an easy and applicable understanding of the most important principle given to us from God, is made possible without first attaining a degree in Old Testament studies OR philosophy...it's worth your time and patience to read this book.

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