Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Charles E. Johns' No Small Change

Charles E. Johns' No Small Change introduces to the reader that God is not always reserved for the Hallelujah moments such as burning bushes, transcendent music, sunsets, etc.

According to the book blurb, the pages inside were tales of people, places, and things that could either pass unnoticed or could become moments that would change how we experience God. Each story within the book (56 separate accounts) were suppose to illustrate a way in which the ordinary could open a door to "an engagement with the Divine". What I found instead was 56 sermons or platitudes.

Instead of using actual instances or stories involving other people and their thoughts and/or experiences, the author takes one instance, one encounter and turns it into a sermon expounding his beliefs on the subject.

In "Wrong Number", he talks about missed chances and not answering the call. What I read, though, was his missed chance to help a hurting soul. Instead, he cast it off, hoped she dialed the right number so that she could receive some help (heat for her house or help to keep her family from freezing).

In "Hell", his arrogance is prevalent. He tells the story of  him visiting a distant church, a "stranger" at the place. Then how he forgives that the substitute preacher "does not appear to suffer from an abundance of preparation". After a while he recounts himself counting pipe organs and analyzing stain glass symbols. This portion of the book does not match the title of the section. Hell was not talked about, was not glossed over; in fact, it was not truly mentioned at all.

The author states in the section that he "...can still share the resources with which God has entrusted me among those who languish in their need: prayer, money, time, and a story." 

I feel as though the author, on numerous times after reading the book, passed up his opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.

If a reader wants an intimate look inside the mind of a Methodist preacher, then this book is well recommended. If the reader wants an intimate look inside the minds of people about God (as the blurb insinuated), this is not the book to read.

 No Small Change is a positive read for anyone and one to share with others.

***I received this book from the publisher through BookCrash in exchange for an honest review***

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