Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Book: The Happy Christian

Today’s book, The Happy Christian,  comes from pastor/author David Murray. He’s the author of Christians Get Depressed, Too, and Jesus on Every Page. I found value in both of these books, so I was glad to snag The Happy Christian for free for review from Booklook.

There are many Christian-themed books about happiness. Some of them are remarkably too shallow. Others are too egg-headed and theological. Generally speaking, the pattern of these books falls like this: if you’re unhappy, it’s your fault so get over it. While there may be truth (MAY BE) to that concept underneath, is patently unhelpful when in trials.

Murray’s The Happy Christian aims a bit higher than basing happiness in either ignorance or guilting the reader out of sadness. His work is based in an evaluation of what Christian Scripture says of why we Christians should be happy.

Of particular value to me was the chapter on work and play. The point raised is counter to typical culture: we should find happiness in the work we do, even if it’s simply learning to find pleasure in doing the work well. Relying on playtime to keep us happy is a recipe for failure.

All in all, I found this an easy book to read—Murray is well-educated but not out to show it off with vocabulary and obscurity here. I would have preferred footnotes to endnotes (as always) but apparently publishers are against me.

Murray’s understanding of salvation does come through as an underpinning of this book. If you are not in agreement that salvation is an accomplished, “It is finished,” work of God, then you will have some difficulties with what is presented in several chapters. I happen to agree, so it’s not a problem in my mind.

I did receive a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for the review.

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