Why I Still Believe by Mary Jo Sharp –Book Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  For one thing, Mary Jo Sharp and I have things in common:  she’s an introvert;  she’s an idealist;  she’s a thoughtful person (when I say thoughtful, I mean someone who is curious and spends a lot of time researching and reading in order to better understand);  and she has at times been deeply disappointed by other Christians.

She begins by giving some glaring examples of how she, as a new Christian trying to do ministry, was attacked by others in her own church!  Part of her wanted to turn away from Christianity altogether, but instead she embarks on a graduate course in apologetics.  She wants to convince herself that Christianity is the best choice, in spite of the poor behavior of some Christians.

You will journey through various atheistic philosophies with the author until she comes to some conclusions about herself and Christianity.  For one thing, she acknowledges her own part in the problem:

“…my expectations created a reality in which nothing was ever good enough for me.  Walking into the church my first day as a Christian, I brought along my perfectionism and unrealistic expectations of what I thought should happen.”

Through study, she also finds that atheism is riddled with inconsistencies.

“(atheism) … fails to adequately address internal needs of humanity and fails to demonstrate human reasoning as trustworthy …. I found too much lacking in the atheist view of the universe to accept it.”

There is also some discussion of Islam and how it differs from the Christian worldview.

There is no tidy ending.  As Christians we still have to deal with suffering and pain, not to mention our own sinful behavior.  There is no fix, but we must choose (I’m speaking here of sanctification, not justification as Lutherans do not believe we chose Jesus), and then act to follow our choices logically.  This book will enlighten and challenge you, and will make you think about your own faith story and what you should do with it.

There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter, and it would make a great small group study or choice for your book club.

VERDICT:  5 STARS!

 

9 thoughts on “Why I Still Believe by Mary Jo Sharp –Book Review

  1. “Walking into the church my first day as a Christian, I brought along my perfectionism and unrealistic expectations of what I thought should happen”

    So your perfect god is limited by humans? Interesting.

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    • She’s almost as disappointed in Christians as I am. 😳
      And she states that there is an “Atheist view of the Universe,” when there are only Atheists, who view the Universe from multiple, different angles. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • I feel for you, or anyone who believes God has abandoned them. I have been there myself, as have many, if not most Christians (have you read the book of Job?) However, during those times I continue to trust that God loves me, He has a plan, and is working things out for my ultimate good. He doesn’t promise to always make us happy, but He is making us more holy. As for desperate incompetents, for sure there are some. I believe there are atheists who fall into this category as well. We’re all human. But Martin Luther? John Calvin? Dietrich Bonhoeffer? Hard to say they and many others are incompetent. A survey course is Western Civilization should disabuse anyone of that notion. Christians have promoted and championed public education, human rights, care for the needy and more over the centuries. Our world is infinitely better because of the action of many Christians.

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  2. Pingback: Surviving Religion 101 by Michael J. Kruger–Book Review | Lutheran Ladies Connection

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