It has taken me forever to read this small book. I won’t be recommending this book to any friends. It is a relatively small book, coming in at 222 pages. The text reads easily, with two to three relatively small paragraphs per page. There are 50 chapters out of the 222 pages. In 10 minutes of reading, I found myself flying through 3-4 chapters. Each chapter conveys a key doctrinal thought, seen as an essential for living.
Here is my first problem: By the time I took a breath, I could no longer remember what I had just read. The chapters don’t flow into each other, they could each stand on their own. I found reading the book engenders feeling similar to that of eating a flaky-light-pastry. You know you’ve eaten something, but it just isn’t very filling. She tries to cover a lot over such a short space. It isn’t that I’m only left wanting more…I’m wanting something, anything, any small piece of theological meat I can get my teeth into. It was like eating air, from a literary standpoint. If you have just a few years in Sunday School, you will already be well beyond the scope of this book.
The language was easy to follow. It is your stereotypical conservative evangelical vocabulary. She throws in some quotes by popular authors. I can see most of my conservative brethren nodding and smiling as the read the book. It is the literary equivalence of mom’s home cooking. It feels good going down, regardless of what it actually is. However, my non-evangelical/conservative brethren may find it a tad harder to digest.
Lastly, the pages were very busy. Many of the pages are made up of two columns, one thin and the other relatively large. The thin column has what the author calls “Interesting Thoughts” and quotes from other popular authors. The larger column, while having the majority of text is also broken up by some thought or quote. This lead to a disruptive experience in my reading. It looks good, aesthetically speaking, but hurt my flow of reading.
Now, for the positive remarks – I didn’t find anything theologically questionable from my conservative/evangelical point of view. Each chapter can be a stand alone, so I can conceive of someone using it as an encyclopedic/theological resource. This is especially true if the one using it has very little theological training.