Book Review: The Great Good Thing

greatgoodthingby Rosalys12/19/16
I’ve been a fan of Andrew Klavan for about six or seven years. He is a writer of suspense/detective novels, several of which have been made into movies. I haven’t seen any of the movies, though I have read one book, Don’t Say a Word. I know of him primarily through his political commentary videos, Klavan on the Culture in particular. He possesses a wonderful combination of being politically right (not correct) and very funny.

The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ was one of those pop up suggestions, which appeared when I was searching for something on Amazon, and I took the bait.

The Great Good Thing has no politics in it. It is, pure and simply, a spiritual autobiography. From his first introduction to the Lord, in the form of “a framed picture of Christ… a cheap print of some sentimental painting… a long haired goy gazing soulfully into the middle distance, his coifed honey-brown locks surrounded by a golden glow… a cotton candy god… sugar and fluff,” hanging on the wall of the bedroom at his baby sitter’s house, and which frightened him in the night (but strangely, in the morning, no longer seemed eerie, or spooky, or creepy), to his final act of obedience in being baptized some forty or forty-five years later, Andrew takes us with him on his long journey toward the Light.Along the road,

Andrew has his ups and downs. He moves from atheism, to agnosticism, to belief, and to Buddhism before he reaches a destination he never realized he was traveling toward.

Each step of the way he examines, reasons, sometimes taking detours, but always, even if he wasn’t aware of it at the time, moving toward the Light. One marvels at the loving patience of God who takes His time to gently lead, nudge, and push a stiff necked individual onto a path where there is no other place to reasonably go. It is marvelous especially because there is much about the Gospel which is immediate: “…Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts…” (Hebrews 3:15) and “…now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2). But then we are reminded in 2 Peter 3:8, “… that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”  So what is time to God? He has all the time in the world — literally so, since time is also part of His creation and He owns it.

Along the road, Andrew has his ups and downs. He moves from atheism, to agnosticism, to belief, and to Buddhism before he reaches a destination he never realized he was traveling toward. He finds great blessings (a marriage to a woman he has remained very much in love with through thick and thin) and suffers great depressions and mental/emotional illness. At perhaps his very lowest point, he decides that his family would be better off without him and he is planning to commit suicide — just as soon as the baseball game he is listening to late at night is over. At the end of the game, a player, who scored the winning run while suffering with an injury, is interviewed at the end of the game and is asked, “How did you do it?” His answer, “Sometimes you just have to live through the pain.” This spoke to Andrew, and he decided not to kill himself. Coincidence? Andrew doesn’t believe so, and I would have to agree. There are no coincidences with God.

This is a beautiful book. It’s a beautiful story with a beautiful message; and because Andrew Klavan is a writer, who has honed the skills of his chosen profession for the past forty years, it is also beautifully written. A joy to read, perhaps more so at this Christmas season. I give it five stars. fivestars

The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ is available at Amazon. I got it for $2.99, but that must have been a special offer, because it is now $12.99. But even at that price it is well worth it.


Rosalys is a special contributor to StubbornThings • (579 views)

Share
This entry was posted in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Book Review: The Great Good Thing

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Andrew has his ups and downs. He moves from atheism, to agnosticism, to belief, and to Buddhism before he reaches a destination he never realized he was traveling toward.

    A very interesting review, Rosalys. I take it that the unconverted soul is like catnip to Christians. And stories of such souls converting are further validation of one’s faith. That’s not a criticism, for if the faith is true, one ought to take interest in converting and converted souls.

    Finding any kind of faith in this culture of certainty (aka “reason” and “science”), material excesses and successes (let’s admit…we like modern stuff, including medical technology), and rampant vulgarity is difficult. The propaganda is such now that it is implicitly believed that only Neanderthals and knuckleheads believe in religion — unless, of course, you’re talking about Islam.

    With the Pope being a Marxist, and many Protestant denominations building the equivalent of crystal palaces, there are more reasons for a cynical and wary disbelief, or half-belief, which is about where I am. So I might enjoy reading this story of Andrew and his ups and downs. I find myself with one foot in each aspect rather than noting any kind of journey with a definite arrow-of-time marking forward progress.

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I have not seen a lot of Klaven, but the clips which I have seen show him to be a humorous and intelligent man.

    Only partly tongue in cheek, I often say conservative evangelical Christians are Jews, but they just don’t know it. I think that can be flipped.

    The historic tension between the two has been one of the great tragedies of history.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *