Approaching religion with an academic sensibility, this autobiographical guide advocates the Bible as a text for intensive study, one to be regularly revisited by the faithful.
With a background in traditional Western philosophy, You develops her spiritual guide as a supplement to the postdoctoral academics that left her hungry for true wisdom. She builds the book by establishing principles that progress from macro concepts lifted from specific passages of the Bible to everyday manifestations of faith, such as her explanation of the Holy Spirit as it reveals itself in people’s free will to be “born again” as a Christian and even in some believers’ abilities to speak in tongues. You demonstrates the breadth of her biblical knowledge by referencing numerous, often lesser-known stories from the Bible, including Asa as proof that God protects loyal followers and Abigail to show the benefits of trusting God completely. Chapters often begin with an anecdote from You’s spiritual journey—for instance, a harrowing evening when her car was shot by a crossbow on a dark back road in New Jersey—that segues into a Christian tenet; in this case, relying on spiritual strength in the face of the devil. Though her chapter on the devil and confronting evil comes off as dogma, You generally elucidates the significance of “what a person chooses to believe” over the mere fact of whether a person has faith. For the most part, her emphasis on positive belief reconciles born-again Christianity with what can be seen as the retributive aspects of organized religion. Each chapter ends with enumerated points for daily practice, with related Scripture cataloged in book-ending indexes. You’s friendly tone evokes small-group study, more personable than a pastor preaching from the pulpit. With an erudite approach to religion, You encourages regular, in-depth study of the Bible, keeping with her professorial perspective on spirituality.
A detailed, didactic guide to Scripture for daily study and devotion, sidestepping sanctimony in favor of thoughtful tips and reader-friendly resources.