The Great Good Thing by Andrew Klavan — Book Review

I enjoyed this book so much I read most of it in one day! It’s the story of how Andrew Klavan, author and secular Jew, converted to Christianity. It was a long time coming.

As a child, Andrew’s family recognizes the important rites of Judaism (Passover, the Day of Atonement, and so on) but they do this as a way to preserve their culture heritage, not as true believers. When he grows older, he considers himself an intellectual and an agnostic. He is first attracted to the Bible as literature and reads it because he wants to become a writer. Since Christian symbolism is everywhere he thought he should learn where the symbols came from.

As his life progresses, he becomes more and more depressed. He goes into therapy, and over the course of years experiences what he calls “epiphanies.” Later he realizes that each one represented a tenet of Christianity. He explains them this way:

  1. The truth of suffering was the knowledge of the cross
  2. The wisdom of joy was the realization of the soul’s relationship with God
  3. The reality of love was the revelation of God’s personality as seen in Jesus
  4. The possibility of clear perception was a sign that we are made in God’s image, having the ability to understand that His good is our good
  5. Laughter at the heart of mourning shows that we know this life is not what we are meant for

Somewhere along the line, he begins to pray. At first, just a simple prayer of gratitude (Thank You, God) but then more and more. Prayer changes him. He decides to be baptized.

VERDICT: 5 STARS. This book will make you laugh and make you sad, and in the end very grateful that you also have experience the great, good thing.

For more spiritual autobiographies see these posts:

Where the Light Fell by Philip Yancey–Book Review

In My Grandmother’s House by Yolanda Pierce–Book Review

The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken–Book Review