Item description for If God Disappears: 9 Faith Wreckers and What to Do about Them by David R. Sanford...
Overview SUBTITLE: 9 Faith Wreckers & What to Do About Them
Virtually everyone has--or will--face crises of life and faith. These pivotal times are part of everyone's spiritual journey. Why then do some people emerge from the crisis with their faith intact while others give up on God, the church, and holy living? If God Disappears comes alongside the Christian who is spiritually drifting--or is on the verge--or knows someone who is considering leaving God and the church behind--and compassionately empowers them to re-embrace their faith. Author David Sanford shares nine "faith wreckers" and nine "faith builders" to help us better understand which circumstances and attitudes undermine our faith and which ones draw us closer to God.
Does it seem as if God turned out the lights and slipped away?
God often seems absent when we need him most. Some people respond to this by seeking him even more wholeheartedly. Others feel shunned and abandoned, and slowly drift away from their faith. Why do some individuals emerge from such crises with their faith seemingly intact while others all but give up on God, the church, and spiritual life? How can we walk through troubling, even devastating times without shipwrecking our trust in God?
If God Disappears comes alongside those who are already spiritually drifting - or are on the verge - and compassionately empowers them to re-embrace their faith. Author David Sanford explores a series of nine "faith wreckers" and nine sometimes counterintuitive "faith builders" to help us better understand which circumstances and attitudes undermine our faith and which ones draw us closer to God.
You may feel that it's impossible to come back to God. You may fear God wouldn't take you back anyway. But even if it feels like God has disappeared . . . it's never too late.
Publishers Description Virtually everyone has—or will—face crises of life and faith. These pivotal times are part of everyone's spiritual journey. Why then do some people emerge from the crisis with their faith intact while others give up on God, the church, and holy living? If God Disappears comes alongside the Christian who is spiritually drifting—or is on the verge—or knows someone who is considering leaving God and the church behind—and compassionately empowers them to re-embrace their faith. Author David Sanford shares nine “faith wreckers” and nine “faith builders” to help us better understand which circumstances and attitudes undermine our faith and which ones draw us closer to God.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.6" Width: 5.1" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2008
ISBN 1414316178 ISBN13 9781414316178
Reviews - What do customers think about If God Disappears: 9 Faith Wreckers and What to Do about Them?
recommended Feb 17, 2009
Some books are difficult to review. It is not that they are difficult reads. Neither is it because they are poorly written. A book can be an excellent book with excellent material and workmanship, but still be difficult to review. If God Disappears is one of those books.
If God Disappears is written with the hurting in mind. That being so, the book is not written in a manner which can be easily outlined. It does not merely appeal to the intellect and walk the reader through some sort of "10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Cry." Neither does it present "12 Steps to Regaining Your Faith (AA for the Fallen Christian)." It goes straight to the heart. That kind of writing is not easily written about.
All these things being so, how does one review such a book? Good question.
Have you ever felt forsaken and forgotten by God? Did you come out of it victoriously retaining your faith? If so, you know that you probably did so because your heart was stirred by the compassion and kindness of others who sympathized, empathized, and wept with you. As great as theology is, it is theology practiced that helps people overcome depression and the feeling of being deserted by God. Not a lecture, but a hug, dinner, compassionate deeds of kindness, and understanding. These are the sort of things the writer does for us on these pages.
I was amazed at how much compassion can actually be felt when reading a book. The writer knows that of which he speaks. He has been there. He understands. Thus he shows us various things that tend to bend, or break our faith. He also comes along side us and helps us to see how we can triumph over tragedy, heartbreak, grief, desertion, sin, and the hardships of life that often leave us with very little faith.
I think I could recommend this book to a hurting friend.
Easy reading, good stories Feb 5, 2009
Once I started reading, I zipped right through the book, catching story after story of people like me. Tips were helpful and stories made me think. If I had negative criticism of the book, it would be that at times it seemed a little oversimplified for deep, emotional situations. But maybe that's what deeply emotional, over-analytical folks might need - a little simple breath of fresh air.
When the God I thought I knew, disappears. Dec 26, 2008
In David Sanford's book "If God Disappears" I found nuggets of truth that I had been searching for some time in regards to the illusive issue of hope. Even as a Christian, with Heaven to look forward to, I often wonder what I can hope for in this life. Answers are hard to find when it appears that for years or even decades, a certain hope we cherish will never come to pass, or when we are suddenly confronted by personal tragedy. At times like that many of us cry out--not, ` Where is God,' but, `Where has the God--I thought I knew--gone?' A crisis of faith is unavoidable for everyone, or for someone we know. For that reason this book is highly relevant.
In Mr. Sanford's book he tackles these sticky questions by looking at nine different faith wreckers. He explores ways of going beyond just coping when we're hit by the pain of losing someone, or the tragic consequences of living life recklessly, or when all our faith and courage has been beaten down. He combines great intellect and years of study with a refreshing lack of rhetoric so that whatever stage a reader is at in their spiritual walk or understanding, they will find concepts to help them re-discover God when He seems to have disappeared.
The easy-to-read chapters encourage those who are new to the Christian faith or who are searching for a faith, whatever their background or set of beliefs. At the same time I found what he had to say, stimulating to a person like myself who has walked the Christian faith for more than forty years. It was as though Mr. Sanford took me to the bedrock of my faith and encouraged me to walk about it from a new angle and see things I had never seen before--mostly what I can hope for in what appears to be a hopeless world.
Into thin air Nov 26, 2008
Cindy (not her real name) had stopped attending Young Life meetings, and was partying pretty hard again. She acknowledged as much when I asked her what was going on. Cindy had made a profession of faith in Christ, and tried the Christian life for a few months.
Then she walked away. "It's not for me," she said, owning her choice but avoiding eye contact with me after that. We hung around occasionally after that, but she drifted away. I chalked it up to imagining she felt convicted by my committment to Christ. Though maybe my committment played a factor in our estrangement, years later, Cindy's always-averted eyes flickered onto my memory's replay screen.
She'd grown up knowing she was a change-of-life "accident". Her parents reminded her of it all the time, as if it was her fault. Both parents, well into their careers, were unable to make the shift in their lives to embrace her as they had her much older siblings. She wasn't planned, wasn't wanted. She wore shame like her newest boyfriend's oversized varsity jacket and rarely smiled...
...except for that brief time after she told me she prayed to receive Christ. Cindy laughed like a child on a playground when she told a group of us about her prayer. Maybe she'd found the way to a Father who would be able to heal the deep wound in her soul.
But her newfound faith seemed to lose traction a few weeks...months at the most...after that. The lights went out, and she seemed to have pulled the shades down over her soul. She disappeared. Her pain obscured God, and she turned away from Him.**
I thought of my friend when I read David Sanford's If God Disappears: 9 Faith Wreckers and What To Do About Them (SaltRiver). This slim 158-page hardcover is written in a conversational, approachable tone, designed to respond to the stuff that obscures God's presence in our lives. Sanford discusses faith wreckers like: - Neglecting time with God - Experiencing crushing circumstances - Being wounded by the church - Living as an individualist (and 5 more)
If God Disappears is meant to be a safe place for a reader to see some of their own struggles mirrored in the stories of others. There are some general Biblical principles presented in each chapter, along with an empathetic tone. A couple of times in this story-filled volume, the anecdotes of those who've made it through to the other side of a struggle can make the process sound simpler than it would be for a reader. (That's the sometimes the problem with after-the-fact anecdotes: the mess and time passage of a struggle gets compressed into a nugget of a story.)
But that's a small quibble, and it might just be me. The gentle, genuine care Sanford uses to address readers comes through loud and clear. The book is a helpful tool, especially if it's accompanied by the kind of in-person continuing dialogue about its contents that I wish I could have had with Cindy when she first averted her eyes and disappeared from my life.
**I don't know what happened to Cindy. I do know she is priceless to God, and that her story with Him isn't over yet.
Good book but disconnected from its target readers Nov 19, 2008
This book is well written and David Sanford offers a number of good anecdotal stories that illustrate his points. The chapters are laid out nicely and the flow of the book is much like a Sunday morning sermon--moving along with a targeted message but still free to drift off to tell a story that gives life to the delivery. However, I'm not sure if this book will reach its true target audience.
The tone, coupled with its assumptions about church and God, keep this book in a category of readers that are already feeling okay about God and themselves; but the message seems more appropriate for those who may be angry with God or feel He's no longer around. Readers who embrace the tone and assumptions will likely agree with (and enjoy) this book, and hopefully remember it in a time of struggle. I agreed with (and enjoyed) the book. But it seems the true target audience is one having a crisis of faith. I could be wrong, but I'd venture a guess that if a person struggling with his or her faith were to receive a recommendation to read this book or even be given a copy as a gift, they would likely stop reading only after the first chapter. I'm not sure David Sanford connects with that struggling or angry person early enough, if at all. And while this is an informative, well-written book, it's just preaching to the choir if it's not reaching its intended audience. It is for this reason that I only give this book three to three and a half stars.