After the successful first book discussion last December, we were eager to start our second book which was John Piper’s Desiring God. It turned out, though, that the book was very hard to chew and digest so we were constrained to drop it after one chapter (ooops, sorry Mr. Piper) and select a new, simpler one which turned out to be Jon Bloom’s Not By Sight. This is by no means a complaint on the first book. Personally, I would love to finish the book but at my own pace and time. It’s a gem to read and John Piper writes with strong passion and intellect but I need more time to contemplate the theology of Christian hedonism and if we want to hold a book discussion sooner, we have to choose a shorter, simpler book. So, yes, Mr. Piper. I promise I’ll finish you. 🙂
Not By Sight by Jon Bloom contains 35 chapters which are actually 33 stories gleaned from familiar stories in the Bible and told in a different voice and a different perspective. It was the first time I heard about and read anything by Jon Bloom but I was encouraged to see that he was the co-founder of Desiring God Ministries which was, incidentally, the same ministry that sprouted from John Piper’s book mentioned above.
To be honest, I was lukewarm about this second book. I thought it would be like a quick devotional guide of 200 words that I am already familiar with. But the endorsement of John Piper on the Preface of the book was enough to awaken my curiosity. It turned out that Not By Sight was what it claimed to be: a fresh look at old Bible stories, and pleasantly so. The chapters were quick reads, alright, but the lessons were well-thought and practical. I loved how familiar Bible stories were presented in a new, different perspective. The stories were actually re-tellings and although most of us haven’t read many books like this, we thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience. Sanctified imagination — this was the term that was presented (by Ebony) during the book discussion to describe the stories in this book.
Our Book Discussion #2 was held last March 29, 2015 at Bavaria Restaurant, Jaro, Iloilo City. In between munching french fries, sausage pizza, and House salad, we shared our favorite stories in the book and the lessons that made us think hard the most. We all agreed that uncertainties, difficulties, disappointments, and suffering are part of life and sometimes they are used by God to mold us into the persons He wants us to be. We recommend the book to those who want to deepen their understanding of the Bible and the Christian life but we also suggest that readers will read the suggested Biblical passages first before reading the intended chapter.
*Photo credits: Donna
My copy: purchased from PCBS, Php295.00
My Rating: 5/5 stars.