Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Book Review: Heart Wide Open by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

Books like Heart Wide Open:  Trading Mundane Faith For an Exuberant Life with Jesus by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson are phenomenal for a very specific demographic and in a very specific purpose.  For everyone else, the book isn't bad, it's just a quick semi-relevant read.

Heart Wide Open is a very light, memoir-esque, coming of age as a Christian book.  Tomlinson grew up in the church, accepted Jesus and did all the things she thought she needed to do to be a "good Christian".  Over time, though, she realized she lacked the one thing she really needed, an authentic relationship with Christ.  With quirky chapter themes, such as "Does God Want Out of Our Quiet Time?" and "May We Have Permission to Slap 'Em Silly in Jesus' Name?", Tomlinson goes through different areas of her life that needed a dose of authentic relationship with Jesus.  She walks the reader through her personal struggles with faith, courage, forgiveness, becoming Jesus centered and other standard areas of Christian discipleship.

So, who is this specific demographic that this book would be awesome for?  A woman raised in the church who is now in her 30's-50's and is hitting that midlife spiritual crisis of "do I really believe what I have always told myself I believe?" is that target demographic.  This is not to say that others won't get anything out of the book.  There were some areas that I really enjoyed reading and the occasional point that made me question my own walk.  The whole time I was reading it, though, I kept thinking of women I go to church with who would get far more out of the book than I was getting.

Outside of that demographic, this book isn't a must read.  It's not a bad read, but it's very light and anecdotal.  Something that would be enjoyable to read while on vacation at the beach.  Some really enjoy that.  I don't so much.  If you really want to deepen your relationship with Christ, I recommend getting out the big guns and reading Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman.

I received this book for free from the publisher’s Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

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