Thursday, June 18, 2009

Book Review: Eyes Wide Open

Wilhite, Jud. 2009. Eyes Wide Open.

I was a bit skeptical about this one. It's not unusual for me to approach new or new-to-me-authors with skepticism. With a subtitle like "See and Live The Real You" it's easy to see how this could go either way.

What did I think about the book? I think this book will suit some readers better than others. And I think I'm a picky reader when it comes to Christian nonfiction. Some readers love devotional type books. Books that focus on stories and making connections. Books that are light. Other readers love theology. To use a really poor analogy, there are a few varieties of Christian Nonfiction books. The denser, fiber-rich theological books and the lighter, sometimes deemed tastier white bread ("wonder bread") type of books which include many devotional books and a good many Christian living books.

Eyes Wide Open is inspired by scripture. Each chapter ties into several verses or chapters. And the concepts "truths" presented in the book are based on scripture. I didn't find anything un-scriptural. But. For me, it was a little too focused on stories. A little too focused on making connections to modern pop-culture. And I think some readers will appreciate this. Maybe some readers need those references to feel the bible is relevant to their lives. Maybe some readers need those stories to feel connected with the book and with the message. So on the one hand, I found the book included key concepts, important truths taken from the scripture. But on the other hand, there was more time spent in each chapter relating the scripture back to the readers through stories. Sometimes these stories were personal. Sometimes these stories were about real people living life. Other times these connections had more to do with modern pop culture, society, and celebrity.

It's all personal preference. The book is written in an informal, conversational style. It was easy to read. It is reader-friendly, no doubt. And in a way it reminds me of the more-modern preaching style, it's not unusal for preachers these days to focus on stories, focus on anecdotes, focus on using examples and illustrations to showcase scriptural truths.

There's nothing "wrong" with that approach at all. Many are receptive to it. Many prefer it.

I liked this one in parts. Each chapter contained a paragraph or two that summed it all up. And I would find myself enjoying these nuggets. And these truths were significant ones, valuable ones. There were a few that really spoke to me and where I am in my life. So for those I am extremely grateful. I think I realized a few things about myself while reading this one. So this book wasn't a waste of my time--and I don't think it would be a waste of your time either. But I wish it focused even more on the bible and less time naming names.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible


Sheila DeChantal said...

I have a Christina fiction book I am giving away on my blog currently that I think you would enjoy. Great author - amazing book!

Sheila DeChantal said...

Lets try that again - Christian Fiction book.... guess I was typing too fast. :)