Having read Trevin Wax before (through blog posts and a previous book of his) it was a joy to see him dive in to storytelling in a fictional format. I resonate with his journey a bit because I, myself, do not typically read fiction. To be honest I am more of a reader of theology, devotional literature, and christian living sort of books. Perhaps this similarity to diving in to a new genre is what caught my eye.
Anyways, this book is a short read–160 pages after acknowledgements–but it definitely packs a punch. The book is about a boy, Chris, who is doubting much of what his life was built around–faith, a relationship, a career path–and begins asking tough questions and assessing his desires to see what he ought to do. I believe this is something we can all admit to wrestling with. Trevin rightly writes about this season in our character’s life which many have referred to as “the dark night of the soul;” perhaps we know this sort of season all too well.
I love the way Trevin Wax was able to work through intricate themes in the form of dialogue. Towards the end of chapter 4 (don’t worry, no spoilers) there is a response from the grandfather to Chris stating:
“What if Christianity is bigger than ethics? What if it’s not about good people getting better but dead people coming to life? What if it’s not about man seeking God but God seeking man? What if it’s not about how people view God but how God views us? What if Christianity isn’t about you and me and everyone else in the first place? Those are the questions I hope you ask. They’re worth wrestling with…
…Chris, make sure you don’t use scholarship as a way of masking your doubts, of defending yourself against the Bible, of distancing yourself from God’s claim on your life.” (p.50)
The book is filled with this sort of pointed dialogue. You will find yourself siding with a given character throughout. Sometimes the girlfriend, sometimes the grandfather, others Chris. Trevin does an excellent job navigating complex themes and internal dialogues with storytelling and for the sake of keeping this brief I believe that this book is well worth picking up.
It is a shorter book but deals with a ton of issues on the topic of questioning, doubt, being unsure about your beliefs (or anything you stake your life on, really), and how to navigate those doubts to point towards the Gospel all the more.
The book releases September 17th, 2013. Surely be on the lookout for it.