The Great Good Thing A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ by Andrew Klavan.
I dearly love a good Christian conversion story or memoir. And Andrew Klavan’s story is a good one, full of insight and self-reflection and understanding that only a man from an intellectual Jewish background, who came to faith in Christ by way of a tumultuous childhood, a writerly and journalistic sensibility and career path, and a nervous breakdown, could express and communicate.
“It reminded me of the sense I’d had then that our mortal lives were just incarnate metaphors, that we are stories being told about the living love that created us and sustains us. Maybe all of history’s beauty and bloodshed was a story not about pleasure and pain and power but about humanity’s relationship with an unseen spirit of love. We yearned for the spirit but we feared and hated it, too, because when it shone its terrible light on us, we saw ourselves as we were, broken and shameful, far from what the spirit of love had made us. Maybe all our wars and rapes and oppressions were just our attempts to extinguish that light and silence that story.”
“We are stories being told about the living love that created us.” I really like that formulation. I pray that my story is somehow glorifying the God who made me, and I trust that He will make it so.
I’m feeling a bit inadequate to actually review Mr. Klavan’s version of “Confessions”, so I’ll just link to some other reviewers who say good things about The Great Good Thing. I do recommend the book and its author.
John Wilson at Books and Culture: “The Great Good Thing tells the story of his conversion with candor, wit, and humility (no preening, no cant). It is a memoir, he emphasizes, focused on that story, not a full-fledged autobiography, but it encompasses the whole arc of his life, and especially his childhood and growing-up years before he left home at the age of seventeen.”
What Would the Founders Think?: “Klavan’s conversion was not that of Saul on the rode to Damascus. Klavan’s journey was more like that of an archeologist who senses that there is something to unearth beneath a tell but does not know what it is. As each artifact is excavated, he begins to formulate one hypothesis after another, discarding each until the final piece is revealed. When all the parts are assembled, he has no choice but to accept the result as truth.”
Read it. Then, come back and tell me what you think.