Book Review

Book Review: the Organic God

By Margaret Feinberg
Zondervan
Spirituality/Christian Living
ISBN: 0310272440

THE ORGANIC GOD sounds like something you might expect to pick up at your health food store. Written by Margaret Feinberg – who also penned WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE, GOD WHISPERS, TWENTYSOMETHING, and JUST MARRIED – this work is unlike any other Christian living book you might have picked up in the past.

Frankly speaking, this kind of genre is marred by dogmatic texts that seek to help readers fall in line with a legalistic teaching or pet theory of the author on the one side, while on the other side of the extreme there are the books that advocate the kind of permissiveness with respect to daily living choices that make one wonder what these books are doing in the Christian section of the bookstore to begin with. In the middle of the spectrum are the books which neither preach nor challenge, neither offer permission nor draw hard lines, and which may make for a nice read that imparts some information and ideas most readers will probably agree with, but by and large will be forgotten as soon as they are put back onto the shelf.

This book is the Christian living book that has broken the mold and instead has shown itself to be truly worthy of being named the quintessential representative of the genre. In her light hearted yet heavy hitting conversational way of writing, Mrs. Feinberg has excelled in drawing the reader into her world of challenge, prayer, answer to prayer, and challenge to obey the answer to her prayer. We learn of her tumultuous yet wonderful upbringing, her first forays into Christianity and her overindulgence in it; the reader is mesmerized by her life experiences as well as by the challenges she freely admits still rankle her.

Preaching without being preachy, hard lined teaching devoid of demanding legalistic obedience, and true from-the-heart sharing of who God is, really, make this a riveting read. Just like the first time organic food shopper who is amazed at the offerings of the organic food store where the tomatoes look a bit different but taste oh so wonderful when compared to the regular grocery store fare that offers bright red tomatoes that look picture perfect yet offer precious little when it comes to taste, the first time reader will quite possibly look at this book with trepidation. What could Mrs. Feinberg tell her or him that was not already known? Will there be secret number codes that are cracked, exposing a little known fact about the nature of God?

It will not offer you new revelations about God. As a matter of fact, you will see Scriptures you probably already know. Yet you will read them in such a way that you have probably never read them before. Stripped from their dogmatic interpretations, devoid of racial and socioeconomic thinking that sometimes borders on the stereotypical, you will come face to face with the God Who Is. The great I Am of the Bible who – when removed from the tethers of tradition, common sense, and those facts everyone thinks they know to be true – is so much more real and life-like than anything the professional theologians have made Him out to be.

It is a wonderful book for adults who want to get to know God, not a watered down form or a kind of God-lite, but instead the true and living God. It is great for the Christian who thinks he has it figured out, and the new Christian who is still humble enough to admit that she is learning. It is a perfect book to read for a Christian parent first alone, then together with a preteen or teen. The latter is especially vital if the child has been brought up in a church setting, since no matter how close to the Bible a church strives to stay, there will always creep in some attitudes, thoughts, and ways of thinking that dilute the true God who can only be found in Scripture, prayer, and through a personal relationship without any number of go-betweens.

Parents and their preteens and teens will enjoy the time to read together, compare notes, discuss personal challenges, and perhaps use Mrs. Feinberg’s amazing grasp for conversing in an easygoing manner with her audience as a springboard that will further the parent-child dialog on the subject of spirituality, personal Christian living choices, and maybe even serve to deepen individual convictions! A truly amazing read that should not be missed by anyone!

Sylvia Cochran

Sylvia is a writer, born and raised in Germany. Having been exposed to a variety of religions and traditions due to travel and study, Sylvia has been a student of the Bible for more than ten years and has for the last four years taught in small groups about Biblical principles, practical Christianity, Christian parenting, as well as the spiritual use of money.

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