Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Review: Angry Conversations with God

image Author: Susan E. Isaacs
New York, FaithWords, 2009
Number of pages: 242

If The Shack left you with an itch you can't scratch, Susan E. Isaacs’ Angry Conversations with God deeply soothes. While Isaac's book is not fiction, it is a creatively written memoir that asks the irreverent questions about God most people have the sense to not ask out loud.

Isaacs brazenly writes about life’s ups and downs and the human tendency to take credit for the peaks while blaming God for the valleys.

Isaacs assumes that her relationship with God is supposed to function like a marriage. If that's the case, then she and God need counseling. In fictionalized accounts of real counseling sessions Isaacs stands as God's accuser and questions his intentions. She is smarter than God and knows more about his motives and capabilities than he does. Both she and God bite back at each other with snippiness and sarcasm. Both constantly one-up the other. If you've been in marriage counseling this sounds familiar.

Ultimately, Susan wants a divorce. God stomps out of counseling and Susan doesn’t hear from him for a large chunk of the book.

Isaacs covers topics like "Christians are weird," "the Church is hurtful," "Relationships are hard," and "If God is all powerful then why is my life so messed up?" For most of the book, Isaacs sounds like you and me; she whines. She readily admits that her problems pale in comparison with those suffering in Darfur. Her problems are "nothing but middle-class white girl tragedies." But if you're a middle class white girl, your tragedies are very personal. If God is supposed to be "personal" then why does he seem to be unconcerned and distant when it comes to the things that cause us distress in life?

The author concludes that there is definitely some kind of disconnect between God and his followers.

The book emphasizes that our relationship with God and our journey through this life looks quite a bit like Job's. Although we might not have the character of Job or the hardships of Job, we have the same questions as Job and the same problems with comprehending God.

The author doesn't have Job's perspective, however. She sees things through the eyes of a middle class white girl.

Angry Conversations with God is a fun read. It’s rated PG13 at time; reader be warned. If you have the complaints of a middle class white girl, a disillusioned daughter, or you’d rather just sit and watch wile someone else complains, get this book. You’ll have fun and you’ll laugh out loud.

1 comment:

Karen Dillon said...

I laughed out loud quite a bit while reading through it, and could hear myself saying some of the same things that came out of her mouth during her "couseling with God." Get it and read it!