Sunday, April 21, 2013

Fill These Hearts Book review

FTC disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Have you ever read a book that was so profound you couldn't put into words what you just read?  That happened to me with  Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal LongingNormally this wouldn't be a problem, but considering I was to write a review, the thoughts of what to write swam in my head because how do I decide an area in which to focus, and in fact I've stalled in writing this review because I kept hoping I could write a review worthy of this book, but I doubt that is possible.  With three sections of this book, Desire, Design, and Destiny, Christopher West takes us through a journey of what it means to have desires as a Christian.  The desires aren't limited to just those of a sexual nature, but ultimately whatever we desire -- fortune, fame, love, is satisfied when we are content with God alone.

The author has made a project of making Pope John Paul II's "Theology of The Body" accessible to a wider audience as he takes the hefty theological issues and explains them to the layman.  Not only is he gifted at doing this, his writing is beautiful, giving hope as well as strengthening faith.  His illustrations are ones that the average person can understand, using pop culture as examples to sometimes make his point.  It's rare I've seen a book have references to the Peter Gabriel, Switchfoot, and Saint Therese of Lisieux.

One of my favorite parts of the book was where Christopher West  discusses grace verses license.  Just because we CAN do something, does that mean we SHOULD?  Sometimes that's a hard line to differentiate.  An example of this is a couple decades ago I attended a Christian college where we were not to go to movies.  Yet, there was a 99 cent theater down the road.  I heard every argument as to why it was okay to watch a movie -- from "We are allowed to watch them once they are on VHS" to "I'm not a member of this denomination so I don't have to follow that rule."  I admit, I saw a Disney flick at the theater, and yes, I would have been in trouble if caught.  Yet, for all of us who broke this rule, I remember eating pizza with the yearbook staff and our editor who was already ordained in another denomination saying, "Just because I can walk into a theater doesn't mean I will. I signed a statement like every other student, and while enrolled, I will not go to a movie."  That man may have been young, but he understood the difference between grace and license as well as what the honor of his word meant.  Just because we are able to do something doesn't mean it's the best thing for everyone involved.  Twenty years have passed and I still think about him and the fact that he chose what was best based on that situation.  

This book was excellent, and even while reading it the first time I knew it would be a book I would keep and reread.  I rarely read a book more than once, so that alone tells the quality of the content and writing of this book.  It's something I'd recommend all Christians read.  While it's geared towards Catholics, I am Protestant and can't say enough about how great this book is.

FTC disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  In no way did it affect my opinion of the product.

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