Wednesday, February 03, 2010

unscholarly book reviews

Because you never asked, I am going to rant about, erm, discuss some books.

This is precipitated by the fact that I just read one to my daughter.

We were given two books for children by this author. These are the only books by him that I have ever read, so what I am about to type may not be completely fair as I have not read a large sample of his work.

I have never liked children's literature that was cloying and sickly sweet-not even when I was a kid. I don't think it respects the mind or imagination of a child to spoon-feed them pabulum. Give me Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein every time.

These books by Max Lucado are everything I don't like about children's stories.

Maybe it's because we talk about God at home and we've talked about what we think heaven is like. Maybe it's because I think my kids already know how much I love them and how much God loves them. They just rub me the wrong way. This crippled lamb story makes me want to vomit. And when I read the other one and it talks about the parent being in heaven to meet the child there, I think to myself, "Through God's infinite mercy, I will be there, but I am not absolutely sure I will be there. It's mine to lose." I don't want to start shoving questionable theology down my three year old's throat.

Speaking of questionable theology, I read and re-read this book recently. It's really a page-turner. It was recommended to me by a friend and I have passed it on to other people because I think, on the whole, it has a lot of good things to say to people who are suffering or who have suffered. I think that on the whole, the way it represents the Holy Trinity is very good.

But the author's treatment of organized religion gets my hackles up. In the book, he frequently asserts (from God's point of view) that organized religion is useless and set up by humans as a way to assert control over others. I'm not saying religion not used that way by some people, but I think that the Catholic Church is really where it's at, warts and all. Plus, it was founded by Jesus Christ HIMSELF. I would never pass this book on to, or recommend it to, someone whose relationship with the Church is on shaky ground.

So, there you have it. End of rant.

Thoughts on these books/authors? Is there something I'm missing?


Kate P said...

Another not-fan of M.L. here. . . A lot of the warm & fuzzy people in the bible study group I went to years ago were crazy about him, and I didn't get it. I find his children's books kinda gushy and cloying--and forgive me but I notice it's a lot of well-meaning grandmas who buy them for their grandchildren. But you raise a good point: Maybe it's telling US what we already know (God loves us etc.), but maybe some other people don't know that stuff yet. Maybe.

Amy said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. And it's funny you said that grandmas buy them because that's who we got those books from. ;)

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