Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Review: O Me Of Little Faith

I'm a fairly large Jason Boyett fan. I try to keep up with reading his blog as often as he posts. I'm a "Pocket Guide" series enthusiast. I even make it a point to give a copy of his "Pocket Guide to the Bible" to every person involved in one of the small groups that I lead. So I was pretty stoked at the chance to read & review an advance copy of his new book "O Me of Little Faith." You can pick up a copy at Amazon.

This book, as you may guess, is about doubt. His own doubts.

Not just little doubts, either. Big stinking "I wonder sometimes if we've just made the whole thing up" kind of doubts.

The kind of doubts that keep you up at night. That you carry with you for a lifetime. The kind of doubts that books, seminars, sermons, counseling, and answers do not satisfy. The kind of doubts that you KNOW the answers to, that you can give the responses to the questions just as easily as anyone...but you still doubt.

O Me Of Little Faith is about those kind of doubts. And how to live faithfully within them. Let me tell you, it's powerful.

Despite my Jason Boyett closet man-crush, I didn't think this book would resonate too greatly with me.


Because I don't really share those doubts.

Sure, I have my moments of doubt and my times of questioning my faith, who doesn't? But if we're looking at a ratio of doubtful periods to non-doubtful periods...well, the latter wins hands down. For that, I am incredibly lucky.

That being said, I really enjoyed reading this book. A lot. Being a memoir instead of informative it was completely different in style from his other books (the Pocket Guide series, for example), but maintained his signature humor & self-snark. It was hilarious, personal, relatable, and, if I'm honest, a bit painful as I really felt his anecdotes and personal references. Also, he uses footnotes. Footnotes are infinitely superior to endnotes. It's science.

I don't want to give too much of the book away, because it's constructed in a semi-narrative format that really should be read through in order...instead of just picking apart pieces of it and quoting them on blogs.

However, it deserves to be mentioned, this book is not about helping you to get over your doubts.

It's far more practical than that.

Jason Boyett has written a long version of two of the most powerful words you can say to someone when they're going through a difficult time in their life or in their faith, "me too."

When we're wrestling with these things that rattle everything we believe in, we don't want quick answers. We say we do, but we really don't. We know that deep down, those answers won't help us.

What we really want is empathy. We want someone who understands what we're going through because they've gone through it as well. We want someone to walk through our struggles with us, and let us know that we can come out on the other side all the stronger for it.

We want to be able to lay out our doubts, our insecurities, our frustration with our own lack of faith and be met with someone saying "me too."

So for those of us who do have doubts, who do have serious struggles, Jason offers up that he's been there too. He hasn't just been there, he lives there. That it's not as scary a place as you might think it is, and it's quite possible to live a faithful life, even when you're not quite sure you've got it all right.

Here's how he does it.


Extra info:

O Me Of Little Faith is for sale on Amazon.com, and just about everywhere else for that matter.

If you're interested in developing your own man crush on Jason Boyett, here is his interweb home.

For the sake of disclosure, all links for his book are affiliate links, and I received a review copy for free. Also, my FTC disclosure policy.