Sinners, Saints, and the Furious Love of God by David Leo Schultz
This book is two things. First - it’s a raw conversation filled with honest reflections about life and faith. Like the one you’d have at a dingy bar, hole-in-the wall coffee shop, or a cross country road trip. Second and more importantly - it’s a witness to unfair and undeserved grace. It’s a witness to ups and downs, a few beautiful mountain tops, and even more dark and dangerous valleys. It’s a witness to the Divine crashing into my life and hunting me down with His furious love. On this road trip with me you’ll pick up hitchhikers with names like depression, heart break, and loss, and although they will stay with you for a while, they won’t make the whole trip with you. You’ll reflect on their purpose with the eyes of mercy, the lenses of hindsight, and the visionary hope of forgiveness. What you’re about to read is my story. My ragamuffin story. And in my story I have discovered God chasing me down with his furious love through the sinners and saints that have shipwrecked into my life. But my greatest hope in our time together - should you dare to pick up this book - is that you will read my story and forget my story and fall in love with Jesus. I pray that my story will fade into the background and your story will take center stage - so that you too can see where God was and is, where He is ready and waiting to tackle and ambush you with his incomprehensibly tender and overwhelming love.
My thoughts -
I'm not sure I've ever read a work of Christian nonfiction as honest and raw as "Sinners, Saints, and the Furious Love of God." I've read a bunch that are more polished; a few that are funnier; several that are destined to be more popular in churchy circles. But I don't think I've ever read a book by a Christian author who has chosen to lay himself bare in quite the same way as David Leo Schultz (yes, he uses all three names).
This is a not a book that will be remembered for its lovely prose, or its gracious technical skill. (Not a secret - the author discloses early on that punctuation rules are not particularly a concern.) Editing might have made it more presentable, but it also would have erased much of what is the soul of this book - the message that practically vibrates throughout every page - we are loved furiously, recklessly, unconditionally, by the God who made us all.
Schultz takes his readers on a road trip of sorts, over back roads and past all-night diners, through the highs and lows of a life marked by some success and more struggle, inviting his reader into a conversation that feels uniquely intimate. His honesty is refreshing, and sometimes almost uncomfortable, but it's that honesty that makes his reader trust him. This is not an author out to impress, or to make his own words leave a lasting impression - his message is the only goal, and that message of love is for everyone. Literally everyone.
This is a book to be read, and re-read, and then read again. It won't be the most popular book I read this year, or the best selling, but it might be the most important. Highly recommended.
Finished - 7/17/16
Source - review copy from author - thank you
MPAA rating - PG for language
My rating - 5/5