I’m still not really sure how I feel about “Rumors of God” by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson. I’m not going to lie, I had some pretty high expectations especially after I read all the praise for the book and Louie Giglio (whom I respect) seemed to think pretty highly of the book.
“Rumors of God” is a book trying to move Christians from a stagnant faith life to one where you will “experience the kind of faith you’ve only heard about”. The authors are two friends, originally from Australia who now minister in two different churches in the United States. “Rumors of God”, made up of 10 chapters, was written to prove that these rumors we may have heard about God (that he is loving, that he is graceful, that he is alive, etc) are true.
After the first read-through, I was unimpressed with the book. Because I didn’t want to say something negative without being sure that I understood properly, or that I didn’t miss something, I started to read the book again. Upon the second read-through, I still had the same feelings. I think that I agree with the general message that these authors are trying to convey, but I wish they had chosen a different vehicle to bring this message forward. Whitehead and Tyson dissect certain aspects of Western culture to show the impact they have on us and our thinking, and while I appreciate that and do feel like it is necessary to take a look at why we are the way we are, I just felt like it was so negative! I just being made to feel like there is so much wrong with our society, it almost feels impossible to overcome. I also didn’t like the broad generalizations they make about Christians, though I do agree that many “Christians” do just go through the motions at church and don’t have a vibrant faith-life, I didn’t appreciate reading phrases that started with “We Christians…” followed up by something we are doing wrong, and what we actually need to be doing. I just don’t feel like that is encouraging or helpful for me.
While I didn’t love this book, I still underlined some nuggets and especially enjoyed the chapters on grace and forgiveness. I’m still sure that this book could inspire others to take their faith to a deeper level or get more serious about the way they are living their lives especially if they are calling themselves Christians, but I think this book would appeal mostly to 20 to 30-year-olds who love a good dose of cynicism before they feel like making a change.
Here is a trailer for the book, check it out and see what you think for yourself.
Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson