Monday, February 2, 2015

Book Write-Up: Aloof, by Tony Kriz

Tony Kriz.  Aloof: Figuring Out Life with a God Who Hides.  Nashville: W Publishing Group (An Imprint of Thomas Nelson), 2014.  See here to purchase the book.

Tony Kriz wanted for God to pay attention to him, but he often found God to be aloof.  Kriz suspects that this is the case for a number of people.  His book Aloof is about the highs and lows of his faith journey and his speculations about why God so often seems to be aloof.  For Kriz, sometimes it is God’s choice, and sometimes it is on account of our mindsets, which can hinder our perception of God.  Still, Kriz affirms that God is always there and we already have God’s attention, whether we feel it or not.

I had a wide range of emotions and responses in reading this book.  I had happiness as I laughed at some of Kriz’s stories.  I was jealous of Kriz when he talked about his experience of Christian community in college, and the times when God seemed to be near to him (though he also explores other ways to account for those experiences).  I identified with Kriz’s stories about his struggles, his attempts to feed his starving soul, and his times of spiritual doubt.  I was moved by Kriz’s story about Rembrandt’s two renditions of the prodigal son’s return, the latter one reflecting Rembrandt in his older years when he was worn down and broken by life.  For a while, as I was reading Kriz’s book, I had a solipsistic acceptance of how I was, even if that did not meet the approval of others, and that was encouraged by Kriz’s honesty about himself, warts and all.  Then Kruz talked about how we can be challenged by people who are different from us, and that shook me out of my solipsism (fortunately!).

I can give examples of the stories and insights in Aloof that were meaningful to me, but there were so many!  My overall response to the book is that I wish that I could give it more than five stars.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book through the BookLook Bloggers (http://booklookbloggers.com/) program.  The program does not require for my review to be positive, and my review reflects my honest reaction to the book.

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