Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Write-Up: Transcending Mysteries

Andrew Greer and Ginny Owens.  Transcending Mysteries: Who Is God, and What Does He Want from Us?  Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2015.  See here to buy the book.

Andrew Greer and Ginny Owens are Christian musicians.  In Transcending Mysteries, they tell their stories and offer theological reflections, as they draw from the Old Testament.  They take turns speaking, share an Old Testament passage (usually in The Voice translation), and sometimes even include a song that they helped write that is relevant to the topic.

The back cover of the book asks, “Is our Jesus the same as the God of the Old Testament?”, and it says that Greer and Owens “take readers on a journey to help Christ-followers reconcile a New Testament Redeemer with an Old Testament Judge.”  The book somewhat explores that territory, but it is not exactly a work of apologetics.  Sometimes, it leaves questions unanswered.

Overall, the book is a collection of musings, a dialectic between passages in the Old Testament and the experiences that Andrew Greer and Ginny Owens narrate.  In some cases, I wondered if perhaps their God is a bit more loving than the God in the Old Testament.  Moreover, when Ginny said that most scholars believe that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, I had to groan, for that is not the case; she should have said that Moses was traditionally regarded as the author of the Pentateuch.

Still, the reflections in the book are thoughtful and insightful, and Ginny and Andrew are vulnerable about their disappointments, their faith struggles, and their hopes.  If I have a favorite story, it is Ginny’s story about when she was in college and was friends with a popular girl, even though Ginny herself was not popular.  The popular girl liked Ginny because Ginny was not trying to get into the cool group, so they could talk honestly with each other, without hidden agendas.

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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