Book of the Month/March 2013

Secret Thoughts

 

Gosh, what a book.

I really cannot recommend this book highly enough. This will be a relatively short review — what I want to do is give a brief summary of the set-up, mention three things about it that were simply wonderful, and then conclude with a plea for you to get it and read it.

Rosaria Champagne Butterfield was an English professor at Syracuse, a postmodern specialist in Queer Theory, and a radical lesbian. In this book she describes her “train wreck” conversion to Christ, and how the Lord has since then led her step by excruciating step to her current high calling as a Reformed pastor’s wife, a homeschooling mom, and a foster parent.

Here are the three things I found striking about this book, in no particular order. The first thing is the obvious potency of hospitality and love. She was brought to Christ by faithful Christians who opened their homes to her, and since coming to Christ she has seen that same potency working outward — by marking what has happened in the lives of others as she has opened her home.

The second thing is how she so ably describes the work of the Spirit and how He leads His people through layers of repentance. Her story is a story of a repentance that didn’t quit at the church door. This is a book about the relationship of authority and repentance.

The third thing is that, while the book is relatively short, it is jammed with passing observations that are priceless. She is a wise woman with a good eye. Not only does she have a good eye, she has a trained outsider’s eye. She was converted out of the world, and grafted into Christ. Her description of that is glorious. But she was also converted out of one tribe, and grafted into another tribe, a reality which gave her a good perspective on which aspects of our behavior (in the conservative Reformed world) were about Jesus, and which ones were merely tribal . . . and kind of odd. Consequently, there are observational gems throughout the book, usually just a sentence or two, but which could be developed into chapters or books all on their own. Pay attention to those.

Okay, let me shoehorn in a fourth thing. She really knows how to write.

This is a book that will really bless you. Get it, and read it. Gosh, what a book.

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