Thursday, February 12

Aloof by Tony Kriz

Is God truly there? And if so, where is He? Many people find themselves asking these questions as they struggle to discover whether or not God is present. Tony Kriz describes it as feeling as if the divine presence of God is ‘aloof.’ Throughout his book of the same name, Tony seeks to show readers how God might actually show up in their life, even if they don’t always realize it.

Aloof is broken into 4 sections, roughly following theme of story. Each section is strongly supported by Tony recounting parts of his life from when he begins to question his faith to how he grew into a more clear understanding of God. The writing is often raw and honest, and Tony isn’t afraid to show his own struggles and failures. His story and conclusions are not always clear cut, but they are honest.

Many Christian books in this theme offer generalized answers and advice. In trying to be a resource for everyone, they sometimes fail to dig deep. Aloof is not a book trying to appease or appeal to everyone.  Those hoping to find a definitive and noticeable way of feeling God may be disappointed. But those who experience doubts and frustrations may find solace in hearing someone else’s story.

One of my favorite chapters in the book was titled ‘Shy.’ In this chapter, Tony writes:
“We hear the pastor use such phrases all the time. ‘I was praying about the sermon this past week, and God told me to speak about..’ When the pastor uses this phrase, I don’t believe that she or he actually heard God’s audible voice…I actually believe that they meant, ‘I had an inclination as to what I wanted to speak about this week, and my strong suspicion was that God would approve of the topic. However, it is just easier and more commonplace to say, ‘God told me.’”
I think admissions such as these may help people realize that they are not spiritually ‘weird’. God may not always be present in the way we hope, but it doesn’t mean that the presence is not there.

Tony is an engaging writer, and maintained my interested throughout. It was refreshing to read a book that dared to ask question without giving definitive answers. This may not be a book for everyone, but I think it will resonate strongly with those who also feel that God’s presence is aloof.

4/5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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