"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Growing Up Amish, by Ira Wagler

          I picked up this book because like so many of us, I've got a natural curiosity about the Amish.  And no wonder - they've managed to stay in control of their culture while the rest of us feel like our culture is controlling us.  I know more than a few people - including myself - who've often thought of the Amish with a certain wistfulness for days gone by.

          This book surprised me, though.  I knew it wasn't going to give me an account of paradise in Amish country.  You can't expect that from an author who chose to leave the religion of his childhood.  What the book did was make me regard the Amish from a legalistic religious perspective.  Christians are meant to understand the Bible from a post-New Testament perspective, believing that Christ's sacrifice covers all repented sins.  The laws of the Old Testament are important, absolutely, but are not meant to supersede the sacrifice of the cross.  From my understanding, the author became so boxed in by the rules of the Amish that he could not recognize the forgiving power of God until someone pointed it out to him.  And that's dangerous stuff.

          I don't know if that is the experience of every Amish person, but it did leave me with food for thought.  It does make me want to study the culture more.  And I am grateful to the author for sharing his story with us.  He leaves us with a message that God will be there for the repentant, no matter what

          That's a message which is important to all of us, regardless of denomination.

Three out of Five Stars