I received through the Blogging for Books reading program. I was encouraged to express my honest opinion, whether negative or positive!
This book had a bad start with me since I was not attracted to the cover, size of book, layout or style of writing. However, obviously I could ignore those factors, if the content of the book proved to be Biblically sound!
The point of this book is relationships. The author comes from the viewpoint that Christians follow rules, but have forgotten how to cultivate relationships. While I agree that relationships just don't seem to be successful now-a-days, I don't believe this author was qualified to address the subject. I know of a score of better books and messages, and even blog posts which cover the subject wisely and Biblically.
I suspected something was wrong with this book when I saw at a glance that there were hardly any Bible verses quoted in the book, but many quotes by people like Dominican friars, Mystics, Dostoyevsky, Aristotle, Richard Cranshaw, Mystic Nicholas of Cusa, James Hillman, HOmer Simpson, Lily Tomlin, Emily Dickinson, etc. while only a few quotes from Charles Spurgeon, hymns and the Bible.
The book turned out to be almost blasphemous as the author constantly stated wild beliefs and un-Biblical thoughts. For example, I quote the author: The center of gravity of global Christianity is shifting from the North to the West to the South and East. Western Christianity was tutored by Greece and Rome. It will now learn from Asia. What Christianity learned from Greco-Roman culture (Stoicism, neo-Platonism) was how to express itself in rhetoric and reason. When we start learning from Asia, and the cultures of India, Tibet, and China, we will move beyond the rational to the mystical...God is a mystery, not a master's thesis...Jesus was not a Greek, nor was he a classical thinker. He was a Hebrew, Eastern in thought and culture, relational in practice, and mystical in spirituality.
See what I mean? The author is almost....New Age? Later in the book, he mentions relationships with his ancestors, and favorite famous (not all Christian) people from the past. Bad, bad, bad.
Lastly, chapter 3 was terrible as the author totally twisted the meaning of Abraham's relationship with God. This chapter states that ''God never wanted Abraham to kill Isaac and was hoping (yuck) that Abraham would argue with God and ultimately refuse to carry out the directive.''
The author also quotes a favorite paragraph from Conrad Gempf which is so blasphemous I hardly dare share it, but which says that God is interested when we argue with Him, and He likes losing the arguments even more than He likes winning them. Excuse me? The conscientious reader will now slam this book and send it to it's death via the recycling bin!
So, I simply close with the warning to beware of this author, Leonard Sweet's writings. Usually Blogging For Books offers Christian material, but I guess I need to be more careful, and not just hastily choose a book to review based on the title! I hope these thoughts helped you.