July 09, 2009

Alicia Britt Chole, Finding an Unseen God

Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a review copy. This is a delightful, honest story about finding, or better, being found by, God. In two converging threads, Chole narrates her own journey through Atheism to faith in God while also reflecting on the nature of God and belief. Chole's own story highlights her father, a man who she deeply respected and loved, and who didn't believe in God. Before reaching junior high, Chole had embraced her father's Atheism, and into high school she grew to be outspoken in her disdain for faith of every kind. But in the summer after high school, wholly unlooked-for, God met her.

Woven together with her own journey to faith is Chole's thoughtful reflections on Atheism and its adherents, for whom she has the utmost respect, and her description of the nature of belief in God, complete with four "filters" (consistent, livable, sustainable, transferable) through which various belief systems can be sifted, all in search of truth. Last, through five things that she likes about God (God delights in sincere questions; walking with God sharpens the mind; God is not a fool; God is the ultimate realist; God is knowable), she paints a beautiful portrait of what God is like; one especially suited to those seeking or being sought by God.

While some might be put off by the interwoven story lines, I think Chole pulls off the two threads to good effect. Her writing is very clear, with many finely turned phrases elegantly communicating the depth of her reflection. This book is not an argument for God's existence, a handbook of apologetics, but is instead a thoughtful and honest story of being found by God. I would not hesitate to put this book into the hands of an Athiest or an agnostic, or even any Christian who may need to meet God afresh, because Chole's compassion and respect for others comes through clearly in her writing and earns her a hearing.

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