Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Book Write-Up: Lighthouse Faith, by Lauren Green

Lauren Green.  Lighthouse Faith: God as a Living Reality in a World Immersed in Fog.  Nashville: W Publishing, 2017.  See here to purchase the book.

Lauren Green is a religion correspondent for Fox News.  Many know her from her awful interview of Reza Aslan, in which she seemed baffled that a Muslim would write a book about the founder of Christianity.  That interview never comes up in her book, Lighthouse Faith, and that is probably for the best.  Rather than defending her interview and responding to critics, she shares her faith, and she does so in an intelligent, thoughtful, and eloquent manner.

Many of her points have been made in other books and evangelical Christian settings: we can only love others when we are secure in God’s love; we look to people and things for fulfillment when we should be looking to God; the universe had to have a cause; and God gives us free will because God wants us to love God freely.  That last one was rather ironic because she has long attended Redeemer Presbyterian Church, which has been pastored by Timothy Keller.  Keller leans in the Reformed direction, which tends to reject the idea that humans have libertarian free will.

While her points have been made elsewhere, Green’s book was still an enjoyable read.  Her prose was vivid and compelling, and her personal stories were genuine and heartfelt.  The book was also educational on account of its scientific element.  Green discusses such topics as nature vs. nurture and the God particle, explaining these concepts in a lucid manner.  Green draws from philosophers and scientists in such discussions.  Green also ties musical theory into her faith, which could get tedious to me as a reader, and yet Green should not be faulted for being passionate about her area of expertise (music).  Plus, her story about Handel was inspiring!

A compelling point that Green makes in this book is that God’s truth is built into the fabric of nature and who we are as people.  Within nature, we see that death can lead to life, and that life can follow death, which can remind one of Jesus’ death and resurrection bringing life.  That reminded me of a scene in Catherine Marshall’s Christy, in which Pastor David Grantland tried to reconcile a belief in the afterlife with his liberal seminary training.  Green also notes evidence that early man was religious, before human beings settled and became agriculturally-oriented.

Green elsewhere in the book talks about the Fall in Genesis 3, and she does not rigorously attempt to reconcile its historicity with her belief in early man and death being integral to nature rather than a product of the Fall (or such is my interpretation of her latter stance).  While her connection of the Pythagorean Theorem with the cross struck me as rather far-fetched, I appreciated her stance that God’s truth is a part of nature, as well as her acknowledgement that we have to decide for ourselves whether we find what she says to be convincing.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Cross Focused Reviews.  My review is honest!

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