A series of reflections on the nature of Christian faith.
Eriksson’s debut takes the form of a series of enthusiastic affirmations of the joys and challenges of Christian life, which she characterizes not as a system of doctrines, but as a living relationship with Jesus Christ. The Jesus she envisions is not a distant, celestial savior but rather an intimate guide and mentor, “who made each person individually, who knows us by name, cares about our personal circumstances and will move in miracles to change them and make a way for us.” She uses a familiar tactic of Christian apologetics, asserting that God allows tragedies and trials in order to test and strengthen the faith of his followers. However, readers may find the concept of an all-powerful, compassionate deity who still allows suffering to be deeply counterintuitive. The author compensates for such quandaries by presenting an attractively simple, straightforward picture of active Christian faith—one in which Jesus’ life as a human being on Earth enables him to empathize with his followers completely: “We don’t have to tell Jesus through our tears what a broken heart feels like,” she movingly writes. “He knows.” She follows a standard evangelical line by insisting that the cornerstone of a successful relationship with Jesus is total surrender, “turning the reins and leadership/decision-making of our lives entirely over to Him,” reasoning that if his followers shy away from complete devotion to him in this life, they can’t expect complete devotion from him in the next. Eriksson’s writing is quite clear and accessible overall. However, there are occasional errors; the husband of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, for example, was Zechariah, not Zacheus. That said, the book will still be very useful to new Christians and to Christian faith groups.
A joyful assertion of the rewards of a one-to-one relationship with Jesus Christ.