book review::and the shofar blew

>> June 8, 2010

Francine Rivers is one of my favorite Christian authors.

She seems to have a knack for taking tough subjects and making them approachable through fiction. As a teenager I was sucked into her "Mark of the Lion" series. In college I appreciated her portrayal of God's relentless love for us as she retold the story of Hosea and Gomer in "Redeeming Love".

Several years ago I bought "and the Shofar Blew" at my local bookstore. I read it, liked it, didn't think much about it.

Last week I was browsing our newly unpacked bookshelves and picked it up again. Read it cover to cover in two days.

This time I could relate to the book in a whole different way. Being a PW for the last 7 years gave me appreciation for her description of the battles raging over the hearts and wills of young pastors.

Rivers skillfully exposes the potential for arrogance and self-centeredness in successful young pastors. She showcases the dangers of upside down priorities to the young pastor's marriage and family. And she deftly illustrates just how easily "church" can become infected with an egocentric country club mentality, how gospel can be replaced by greed, how preaching can become prattling - without us ever being able to pinpoint the actual shift.

I felt so powerfully moved by this book that I urged my PH to read it too. He's working through it in the rare bits of spare time he has... But already the story has sparked great conversations between us about how we can prayerfully safeguard our own ministry journey from these pitfalls.

I don't know if Rivers wrote the book for a pastoral-family audience, or if she meant it for a broader Christian readership. I'm sure both categories could find something to apply to their own roles. But as a pastor's wife I found it especially timely and practical.

If you've never read this book, I totally recommend putting it on your summer book list. And if you have read it, I'd love to start a discussion on what you learned from the story in the comments below.

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Chad and Erin June 10, 2010 at 4:41 PM  

That has to be one of my favorite books. I read it as a new pastor's wife and re-read recently after 6 years in ministry and experiencing the fall of a senior pastor in our church.

ppreacherswife June 12, 2010 at 10:39 PM  

I was just ready to pick this book up and read it for the second time. The first time I read it as a PK, this time I will be reading it as a PW.

CJL,  June 12, 2010 at 10:55 PM  

I read this book on the recommendation of other PWs. I believe this book is awesome and is a must-read for all PWs, no matter how long they've been in ministry.

Kristin June 29, 2010 at 9:56 PM  

I read this book after being a pastor's wife for just under 1 year, my husband had just been fired from his position as youth pastor and the theme was extremely relevant for my hurting heart. I feel like she had to have written it for pastor's wives but I don't know how she could have done it so well without being a pastor's wife herself! It was sooo spot on!

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