Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Pearl by Angela Hunt

Another potential church library book...

Based on previous reviews, you may realize that I am becoming an Angela Hunt fan. Well, it's a good thing I didn't read this book first! The Pearl is full of fascinating, challenging ideas and sadly short on plot. This book is written in more typically Christian Chick-Lit style... very emotional, lots of conversation, and drawn out pontificating about everything.

That said, I still think that is has great value because it tackles a lot of difficult subjects from a Christian perspective. Some of the topics explored:
  • greiving over the loss of a child... can we see God's hand, even in this?
  • accepting God's plan for our lives... why does God call us to suffer?
  • infertility... are we called to simply accept this?
  • spousal roles and submission within marriage... easy to say, hard to do?
  • divorce of Christians.. if/when this is allowed? how do we as a church counsel/support/shun divorced couples?
  • assisted reproduction... is this ever allowed?
  • life begins at conception... but what does that mean?
  • financial stewardship... may we use our money to achieve our heart's desire?
  • cloning... is this ever allowed? what are the moral implications of this?
  • Christian witness... lip service or heart service?
  • the sovereignty of God... can we accept what we do not understand?
The main character, Diana, is a professional radio counselor, and she regularly tells her listeners that "Hurt people, hurt people." Sadly, when her 5 year old son is instantly killed in a car accident, she spirals down a path of grief that hurts her family and drives her away from God. I won't give away the ending :-) but lets just say that God takes the grain of sand and makes a pearl for himself.

The Pearl includes a list of discussion questions/study guide at the end that is helpful in guiding readers to explore many of these ideas, and challenges us to form Biblical stances on some of today's tough issues.

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