A personal testimony of faith, and a manual for finding it.
“I challenge you to believe,” Violette writes in his straightforward, appealing nonfiction debut. “I challenge you to free yourself from skepticism, from doubt, and from confusion and to break down the barriers that are preventing you from believing.” The belief he has in mind is modern-day Christianity, with Jesus as its crucified Savior. In simple, fluid prose, he approaches his subject through broad concepts of “light,” “choice,” “faith,” “purpose” and “belief.” Each short chapter opens with a brief meditation styled as a “thought for today,” then proceeds to explore a larger theme, often lightheartedly using pop culture icons as reference points for deeper discussion. Although Violette isn’t ordained in any capacity, his chapters read like a series of thought-provoking Sunday church homilies. When discussing Christian concepts of light and darkness, for example, he writes, “If you were able to sit through Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace and not want to throw up every time you heard Jar-Jar Binks speak, there was a clear reference to darkness and light.” (The author makes these kinds of references so regularly that he humorously asks, “What is it with me and science fiction?”). He occasionally plays a little fast and loose with modern phraseology; contrary to what he seems to think, the sentence “Everything is going to be okay” doesn’t appear in the Bible, for instance. However, his book offers a pleasing combination of certainty and humility as he tries to keep readers focused on the potential salvation of the Christian faith (“Even the smallest things steal the focus,” he warns). To that end, he recounts how he became intensely aware of that potential only when his son was born, and he and his wife found a friendly, supportive church. “With belief, there is hope,” he writes in one of the book’s deceptively simple declarations. Many readers will also find the “challenges” at the end of each chapter to be thought-provoking.
An enjoyably plainspoken, personal testament to finding one’s purpose through Christianity.