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Book Review – In Search of Deep Faith

December 17, 2013

I recently received a book from IVP Books to read and review here. The book, In Search of Deep Faith: A Pilgrimage into the Beauty, Goodness and Heart of Christianity by Jim Belcher, was a wonderful breath of fresh air and I want to tell every reader, this is worth the money.

Belcher takes this book to chronicle his family’s sabbatical trip they spent in England and in continental Europe. His planning of this trip was quite extensive. Yet shortly after his arrival, he realized he needed to let go of being in control as life twists and turns started to get in the way of his plans. In the end, he was still able to continue along with his initial concept with some minor changes to accommodate for life’s changes. They took time to visit significant places of faith to explore the importance of the place or the people and events that took place there. They were tracing the steps of the old faith through Europe in an effort to grow deeper in faith and revive an excitement about the faith tradition.

This book is a great read. It carried along well, especially if you are interested in the history of the Christian faith. He alternates between a narrative of his family and their story and the story of the person, place, or event he was investigating at that particular time. This makes for a powerful interaction where you find yourself excited to learn more about the specifics of his investigation of faith and invested in the outcomes for his family’s adventures.

If you are a pastor this is a great read. It will take you on a 296 page sabbatical you may never be able to afford. You will also find some key concepts and processes Belcher followed in his effort to make sure the sabbatical was not just about resting, but also about growth for the entire family. If you examine these, they will help you prepare for a productive sabbatical and make it more than an extended vacation.

As a believer you will find this book exciting. First, you will see that pastors are normal people with normal struggles and normal life issues. Pastor’s children give their parents just as much trouble as your children. They get sick just like everyone else. They struggle with stress, just like you. Belcher lets you see that pastors are human. The second thing you will enjoy is his accounts of the history of the faith. Belcher summarizes the events in a manner that keeps things moving along while including the important details to understand it sufficiently to grow from it.

To summarize, this is a great book for every reader. Pass it along to a pastor for Christmas or share it with the family. You will be pleased.

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