Lately, I haven’t had the opportunity to complete as much pleasure reading as I would like. For example, I started reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s best selling memoir, Eat Pray Love in August. I just finished the book a few weeks ago. In a previous post, I revealed my one motivation for reading it.
I have now settled into the summer like everyone else, and have been able to read a few non-seminary required books. Finishing Eat Pray Love was at the top of my list and since I have had several inquiries over the past few weeks concerning pleasure reading, what I am reading, and do I recommend this book, let me provide a quick response here:
After finishing the book, these are the scriptures that I wrote across the title page:
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” 1 John 4:1A NIV
“This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every Spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.” 1 John 3:2-3A
“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14
The author placed herself in this category when she stated very early in the book, on page 14 to be exact, “While I do love that great teacher of peace who is called Jesus, and while I do reserve the right to ask myself in certain trying situations what indeed He would do, I can’t swallow that one fixed rule of Christianity insisting that Christ is the only path to God.” Jesus fixed the rule, sorry. She placed herself in a dangerous position going out into the world seek spirits with no discernment of which spirit was from God and which was from the devil.
There are many other scriptures concerning the spiritual issues raised in this book but the final one that I will highlight comes from the Apostle Paul when he warns concerning false spiritual teachers: “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you from the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions Col 2:18.” In short, Paul is warning his hearers to not disqualify themselves from eternal salvation through Jesus Christ by listening to the crafty, yet false messages of those who do not know Christ.
So the big picture is that Christ reigns supreme regardless of what Elizabeth Gilbert believes or how well she writes. In addition to her rejection of Christ, I would challenge a non-Christian to consider the kind of civilization we would live in if all adults behaved as Elizabeth Gilbert does in her book.
What if we all got divorced simply because we didn’t want to be married anymore? What if we all temporarily escaped to avoid confronting the reality that we screwed up? What if we all quit when times got hard? Denied our responsibilities? Did whatever made us happy regardless of the outcome or who we hurt in the process?
That would not be a sustainable society at all, so all things considered; I cannot in good conscience recommend this book for summer reading.
If you are interested in reading a memoir this summer, pick up Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculeé Ilibagiza or if you are looking for something lighter, Susan E. Isaacs’ Angry Conversations with God is pretty funny.
I’ll start reading The Help this weekend.
What are you reading this summer? Do you have any recommendations?
© Natasha S. Robinson 2011
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