Sunday, June 23, 2013

Book Review: Clearly Spoken

Multnomah Books provided a complimentary copy of Trevin Wax's book, Clear Winter Nights: A Journey into Truth, Doubt, and What Comes After, in exchange for an honest review.

     Author Trevin Wax does something rather extraordinary; he combines a fictional work with sound Christian doctrine in a seamless manner. Chris Walker, the protagonist of Clear Winter Nights, enters into "the dark night of the soul," at a pivotal life moment. He is about to enter into ministry and marry the love of his life. Sometimes when things seem to be full steam ahead, we screech to a halt, afraid to take even one more step. Chris gets away from the city and drives off for a weekend to take care of his ailing grandfather. Fortunately, Pastor Gil is sensitive to the delicate nature of Chris' questions.
     As Chris tends to Gil, he begins to wrestle with the doubts he is having. Can what he grew up believing really be a sham? When things in life don't fit neatly into the box we want, can we allow God to show us another way, His way? Gil gently leads his grandson back to Christ. Gil allows Chris to vent his pent up frustrations without persecution, nor with disgust. He accepts the questions and convenes a dialogue with Chris.
     I appreciated that Wax used dialogue between the characters that seemed genuine, as if I was really listening in on the conversation. Chris was written to be cynical without being mean. Gil propounded his Christian beliefs without preaching. It showed care and compassion for those seeking out faith. There is a stigma that followers of Christ possess a blind faith, not questioning what they are taught. Maybe that is the case for some, but fortunately there is a growing movement to know your faith. Why do you believe what you do? That is far from blind faith. It is an acknowledgement of Truth and better yet, a deep, divine understanding. In fact, this book validates what believers and seekers alike may face.
     Clear Winter Nights is a rather short read. Yet, Wax makes each laconic point with simple wording that most can easily grasp, or at the very least, grapple with. It covers a broad range of tenets of faith in under 150 pages, many that are particularly on point for today's culture. This will be a great work to begin a conversation with someone conflicted with our faith, doubting believers and questioning seekers.

Check out Trevin Wax's website here.

For more book information click here.

TREVIN WAX is managing editor of The Gospel Project, an all-ages small-group curriculum developed by LifeWay Christian Resources. A former missionary and pastor, Wax is a popular blogger (Kingdom People) and a contributor to Christianity Today. He is also the author of Counterfeit Gospels and Holy Subversion. He and his wife, Corina, reside in middle Tennessee with their children.


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