Monday, October 28, 2013
“Odd, because as a family they never discussed their faith on a personal level that involved doubt in any way.” ~SNAP
Mick Mooney spins an emotional tale of a Christian family that is in a state of dysfunction primarily caused by the powers of the institutional church. These powers, of course are the showmanship of Hollywood, the manipulative techniques of Madison Avenue, mixed with the deadly, cut-throat politics of governments everywhere.
However, this is brought to us “up-front and personal” as we enter the lives of Senior Pastor Richard and his family and his brother Ted. Even though this is a relatively brief book, it draws the reader in very quickly and it is difficult to put down until the end…and then there is the disappointment that there are no more pages! Fortunately, this is the first in a series of four books centered on the same family and characters.
I refuse to give any hint of spoilers here, (you can read the publisher's plot sketch below) but I must say that this book spoke to my heart in a number of ways. Maybe it is because I can personally relate to the destructive forces of “organized Christianity”
Lest I give the impression that this book is just full of negatives and criticisms, the primary, and overwhelming emphasis is the preeminence and power of love, and the beauty and peace of life that is available in Jesus for all of us. And that is where this story moved my heart at a pretty deep level. I put the book down after the last page, encouraged to live a life of pure love for everyone and everything in my life and to embrace the spiritual union that is mystically present in the person of Jesus.
I can only encourage others, as I have already done, to get this book and read it for themselves…there will be no disappointment!
Pastor Richard has everything: Perfect house. Perfect car. Perfect appearance. Perfect wife. As the Senior Pastor of Faith First Church, perfection was expected of him, but when his son, Frank, informs him that he no longer wants to be part of Christianity, the cracks begin to show.
Richard's older brother, Ted, who was also once the Senior Pastor of Faith First before his abrupt resignation a decade ago, has been talking with Frank about living a life of faith outside of organized religion for some time. At first Richard doesn't think this is of any serious consequence. However, when Frank is mysteriously scheduled to preach one Sunday evening, his message challenges Richard's church-growth vision so directly it has the potential to blow his perfect facade sky high.
With Henry, the ambitious Associate Pastor, now determined to take matters into his own hands, Richard suddenly has everyone against him: His brother, his son, his wife, his Associate Pastor, and the elders. Despite the pressure, Richard is determined to overcome and maintain his perfect appearance—but everyone has a breaking point, even the Mighty Pastor Richard.