CHRIST AT THE COFFEE SHOP by Nathan Ingram

CHRIST AT THE COFFEE SHOP

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A new voice in Christian inspiration offers quaint glimpses of a devoted life.

This collection of first-person vignettes is intended to show how God is manifested “in the ordinary.” The first story opens in the titular coffee shop–awake an hour early due to an alarm clock snafu, Ingram arrives at Starbucks at 6:30, and is tickled to find a high school group meeting for early morning prayer and praise. Ingram also finds Jesus through other varied mediums: a bedtime conversation with his son, a beggar on the street, his hobby of beekeeping and at a convenience store. He expounds on his efforts to support and sympathize with a friend whose wife leaves him after 26 years, as well as the spiritual lessons he’s learned from bugs. Each story ends with a sermonic spelling-out of the point: Jesus’ blood washes away our sins, we are all beggars before God, Jesus’ “words are real,” Christ “is freedom indeed.” Not exactly revolutionary religious concepts, but pleasant nonetheless. Some of the short chapters are reflections on Scripture–he retells the story of Elisha (whom you can meet in II Kings), meditates on the sufferings of Job, interprets the Sacrifice of Isaac and muses about becoming more like Moses. The stories and lessons are approachable and good-natured, but it’s somewhat disconcerting to be told, in the author’s note, that “some–but not all–of these stories are true.” Readers may be distracted, wondering which of these small epiphanies really happened, and which are products of Ingram’s imagination. And some of his musings are a little twee: “I’m God’s croissant, and I’m not quite done...What do dough and I have in common? We are both bread in the making. We are both unattractive to the untrained eye.”

A collection of mildly inspiring snapshots of the Christian life–a good gift for those who participate in devotional sessions.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-9747425-1-1
Program: Kirkus Indie
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