A personal account of finding inspiration in Scripture.
Stewart’s nonfiction debut takes the form of a series of simple, straightforward reflections on living the Christian life, and although she draws frequently from the modern era for illustrations, the ideas behind her simple observations could have been written in the 18th century or the eighth. She sees the Bible as the directly inspired word of God and therefore “an awesome instruction manual” and “magnificent self-help book” for all the troubles and challenges. Indeed, she writes that God gave humans the Bible specifically as a tool to show them how to live their lives. She works her way through a list of broad categories, including joy, compassion, arguments, inner peace, and truth, pointing out Scriptural stays against confusion in each. She often inflects her insights with modern self-help idioms; at one point, for example, she mentions that in the Bible one finds “the power of positive thinking.” According to the author, the Bible says that if someone sins against us, “we are to go to that person and talk to him about it alone and try to resolve the matter”; however, the Bible is full of instances in which mandated responses to sin are much harsher. Many other books of Christian inspiration cherry-pick from the Bible, however, especially from the Old Testament. Stewart, though, is adept at working to create a calm, inclusive message—a vision of Christianity that seeks to put others before self and find a centering peace in communion with God. Prayer groups will particularly find Stewart’s numerous Scriptural references to be instructive.
A serene, all-embracing explication of the ways of modern-day Christianity.