Allison's Book Bag

Musings Meme: Current Reads #19

Posted on: November 24, 2014

MusingMondaysWhat are you reading right now?
What do you think of it?
Why did you chose it?

This year has been a spiritually confusing one for me. In trying to find answers, I picked up Cries of the Heart by Ravi Zacharias. It’s a book which covers a lot of topics.

The second half covered relatively new ground for me. It talked about the cry of a guilty conscience, freedom in pleasure, and the lonely heart. Guilt has two sides. First, it covers the guilt of others and how we should react to wrongs. For example, at what point is a crime so bad that it shouldn’t receive forgiveness? And who is the person that extend the forgiveness? These questions often arise about war crimes, but also about serial killers and other heinous situations. Second, the chapter covers our wrongs and how we should react to them. This raises questions such as: Is there even such a thing as sin? Or do we simply have psychological hang-ups? And are certain acts wrong simply because of our culture? In other words, are there absolutes or is everything relative?

The chapter about freedom in pleasure most made me think. Here are some questions which Zacharias tackles:

  • Have we all brought into a belief that God is not interested in making life enjoyable?
  • Has the Christian faith somehow been molded and reshaped to appear as a killer of pleasure?
  • Can God give to us a wide array of pleasures … without feeling that it is a break from the routine for the Christian?

Over the summer, when my husband and I read a book about heaven, I began to seriously questions like the above ones. In my mind, whatever God’s view of pleasure here on earth is, surely it parallels how God views it in heaven.

In talking about the lonely heart, Zacharias refers to the four loves that C.S. Lewis once described, but puts his own spin on the explanation of them. There is a need love. No matter what one believes about religion, most of us recognize that we long for affection from the time we reach out with our arms or utter our first word. The flip side of need love is gift love. This is the love that arises from generosity, kindness, mercy…. and a myriad of other selfless acts. Most of us recognize this love and even admire those who show it. While Lewis categorizes the other loves as that which we feel for friends, lovers, and finally God, Zacharias refers instead to appreciative love and finally worship of God.

The first half covered what felt like familiar territory to me. It talked about the cry to know and feel God and the cry for a reason behind suffering. How can we know God? Some might point to the revelation of God in history, in nature, in scripture, and in the church. Others might describe their personal encounters with God. For example, we can experience God through what is known as the foxhole reality. In other words, a crisis hits and we instinctively turn to a higher power. All of these ways can lead us to God. But all of them can also fail in their purpose. After all, no one can see God, and so how can we prove Him? Moreover, feelings are fleeting, and so what happens when they change?

Where is God when we suffer? One response is philosophical. In other words, the fact we raise the question of good suggests that there is a moral law and…. a Being who created that law. Another response, and perhaps the one I have most often heard, is that of Job. He was a righteous man. And he did not understand when evil beset him. So he demanded an explanation from God. When he finally got a response, God had His own questions for Job: “Where were you … Who marked off … Have you journeyed…?” A third response, and the one which I now most adhere to, amounts to: “When belief in God becomes difficult, the tendency is to turn away from Him, but in heaven’s name to what?”

Cries of the Heart by Ravi Zacharias shows respect for the questions believers might have and provides solid answers. It made me less restless about some of my confusion. Now to my next book!

2 Responses to "Musings Meme: Current Reads #19"

Wow. This book raises some interesting questions. Thanks for sharing!

Here’s my musing mondays:

You’re welcome! Thanks for the visit. 🙂

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