Friday, September 29, 2017

Book Review: Lighthouse Faith

The enticing cover of this book hooked me. I found the subtitle compelling: Lighthouse Faith: God as a Living Reality in a World Immersed in Fog. I was drawn to the beauty of the image, an attractive photo of the author, a one time Miss Minnesota and third runner up for Miss America. When I began to skim and my eye happened upon a reference to Oliver Sacks, my desire to read the book increased even more. But, the content is what really causes me to recommend this book.

Author Lauren Green, a religion correspondent for Fox News, has had the opportunity to meet and interview many interesting people. I appreciated the intellectual tone of the book and enjoyed reading about various individuals who helped shape Green's arguments for the importance of faith in a muddled world. Using a lighthouse metaphor, Green draws a parallel from the lighthouse to the structure of the Ten Commandments, God's holy law and a fitting primer for effective living. The first commandment is key, just like the beam of light dispelling darkness and assisting navigation: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me." All other commandments hold up the first and foremost one. Man was created with a God-shaped hole. We were made for worship, but if we are not worshiping God, then we will certainly be worshiping something else in His stead. It might be success, wealth, the approval of others, or any number of other idols that take the place of God.

I loved the question posed on the back cover: "Is God simply an accessory that we carry with us?" Basically, the author is asking us to delve internally and discover what foundation we are building on. This is a book with equal appeal to both Christians and non-Christians. For those who have scorned religion, it opens up arguments for the existence of God and the perfection of His plans and purposes. For those who already believe, it challenges faith to become real and dynamic, a light in a darkened world. With passages exploring things like music, epigenetics, mathematics, and architecture, alongside things like theology, sacrifice, covenant, and worship, Green causes the reader to think deeply. Indeed, the book contains a fascinating appendix: "A Small Lesson in Music History and a Harmonic Analysis of the 'Hallelujah Chorus'" - sure to appeal to musically inclined readers.

Green argues against "facades of faith" that "mask the temple to a false god within." No one would dispute the presence of evil in the world today, but are we acknowledging that God's light alone illuminates through the darkness and are we structuring our lives on that foundation? The light is there, if we're willing to use it as a guide in the storm.

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