Friday, February 5, 2010

'Pure Pleasure: Why Do Christians Feel So Bad About Feeling Good?' by Gary Thomas - Book Review and Giveaway

Buzz this
So often, Christians fall into the trap of viewing the world as evil and to be avoided.  Gary Thomas, in his book, ‘Pure Pleasure: Why Do Christians Feel So Bad About Feeling Good?' provides a biblical defense of embracing pleasure as 
a pathway to worship and intimacy with God. 

Mr. Thomas provides a basis for his defense this way:

Here’s where I think the church has gotten off track:  We often fail to make the distinction that Paul makes when he wrote to Titus: “To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.  In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted” (1:15)… In context, Paul is arguing against hyper-religionists trying to saddle Christians with arbitrary rules and prohibitions. (p. 22)

This section reminds me of how Jesus railed against the Pharisees and Sadducees for following rules and regulations instead of showing and displaying love and compassion.

Mr. Thomas makes the point that each sin has an accompanying threat to true, abundant life.  He says this:

Name a spiritual failing and you recognize a vicious attack on a fulfilling life. I love Julian of Norwich’s take on this: She says that the God-touched soul begins to hate the vileness of sin more than it hates hell.  Instead of being dissuaded merely by the eternal consequences of sin, we open our eyes to the inherent maliciousness of sin – and so we lose our taste for it. She warns that those who focus primarily on the punishment of sin get distracted from focusing with friendship with God. (pp. 27-28)

I must admit that I have fallen into the trap of focusing on the sin and not the Savior – and have missed so much in life that God would prefer that I would have enjoyed.  I have attended some churches in which this mindset is perpetuated.  The world is portrayed as an evil place which is to be avoided.  This world view is very detrimental to the believer and to the watching world.  Why would anyone want to follow Jesus if it turns them into a sour puss?!  I am grateful to Mr. Thomas for writing this book, and potentially improving the lives and well-being of many people.

I am sure it truly grieves the heart of God when He sees us miserable and obsessed with the idea of the stench of sin rather than focusing on His great love for us!  I am glad that Mr. Thomas makes this point: “I walk with God because He is the true Creator and rightful Lord.  But I also walk with Christ because a life with Christ is a beautiful life, the most incredible journey you can imagine” (p. 29).

This is a terrific book to use as a personal study or in a small group setting.  Discussion and Reflection questions are included at the end of each chapter.  There are also online video sessions available at Zondervan here

This is the second book I have read by Gary Thomas.  Before we were married in 2005, Fred and I purchased and read together ‘Sacred Marriage.’  We found it to be very God-honoring and helpful.  Other titles by Mr. Thomas are:  ‘The Glorious Pursuit,’ ‘Sacred Influence,’ ‘Sacred Parenting,’ ‘Sacred Pathways,’ and ‘Seeking the Face of God.’

I am pleased to be participating in the Blog Tour Spot blog tour of this book with several other bloggers.  These copies were provided to me by Zondervan in affiliation with the Blog Tour Spot.  

I have two copies of this book that I would like to pass along; I pray the book will be impactful in your life and in your walk with the Lord! 

You can earn entries in the following ways:

1)   Leave a comment.

2)   Follow my blog via Google Friends.  Please add a separate comment to that effect.  If you are already a Google Friend, that counts, too!

3)   Follow me on Twitter; I will probably follow you back!  Please add a separate comment to that effect.  If you are already a Twitter Follower, that counts, too!

4)   ‘Friend’ me on Facebook.  Please add a separate comment to that effect.  If you are already a Facebook Friend, that counts, too!

5)   Follow my blog via Networked Blogs on Facebook (after you’ve ‘friended’ me!).  Please add a separate comment to that effect.  If you are already a Networked Blog Follower, that counts, too!

Or any combination of the five!

Please make sure to leave your email address in this format (or a close approximation!): sample [at] gmail [dot] com

Please limit entries to US residents only.  The deadline for entry will be February 19, 2010 at 11:59 p.m.  I will contact the winner via email on February 20, 2010.  The best to all of you!


Mary said...

Please enter my name in your drawing. Thanks!

Debra said...

Hello, Andrea!

Please enter my name in your drawing.Sounds like a wonderful book.


Debra said...

I am a follower.:)


Debra said...

One more to go...

We are friends on facebook.:)

And, I'm A Networked Blog follower, too!!


Judylynn said...

Please enter my name!

Judy -

Judylynn said...

I am a follower, too!

Judy -

Doreen said...

This sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of it!

purposedrivenlife4you at gmail dot com

Doreen said...

Follower through Google Connect! purposedrivenlife4you at gmail dot com

Emma said...

This book sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway. augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the opportunity to read this wonderful book


Linda said...

I'd love to read Pure Pleasure. Please enter me. thank you.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

I follow you on Twitter.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

I'm a fan on FB.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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