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Shattered Dreams: God's Unexpected Path to…
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Shattered Dreams: God's Unexpected Path to Joy

by Larry Crabb

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Priceless after the death of my son. ( )
  Gary_Merriman | Mar 3, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I actually didn’t finish this book, and I probably wouldn’t be counting it among my reads for the year and reviewing it if it weren’t an Early Reviewers title. As such, I have the unenviable task of explaining why I didn’t like it.

Personally, I think the concept of Crabb’s book is excellent, and that he does a good job of diagnosing various problems in contemporary churches, specifically as regards views on happiness, suffering, and joy. I really wanted to like the book; when I received it in the mail, I thought it had come into my life at the perfect moment. At the time I was picking up the shards of several shattered dreams: I had flunked out of the school I intended to be my alma mater, my scholarships and high GPA were nowhere to be seen, and a girl I liked had rejected me. Twice.

But enough about me. The book started off well enough, but as I read on the sequins began to fall from my eyes, and I began to see Crabb’s work for what it was rather than what I wanted it to be. To begin with, Shattered Dreams is very repetitive, a typical problem with poorly-written nonfiction books. Crabb’s readings of scripture verge on the mystical, even though he pokes fun at mysticism elsewhere in the book. As for his citations, they’re practically nonexistent. I don’t expect a scripture reference at the end of every sentence in this sort of book—in fact, that can become tiresome—but Crabb just comes across as lazy. At one point he articulates an idea that he says comes from C. S. Lewis, but doesn’t even bother to mention which book he’s citing.

Finally, the view of Christian life this book presents is a pretty dim one, and not one I subscribe to.

Not recommended. ( )
1 vote ncgraham | Dec 26, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Larry Crabb's books have become part of a stable core of quality resources for pastors and counselors. With a solid academic foundation and keen insights into matters of psychology and the Christian faith, Shattered Dreams offers direction through the hard paths of disappointment and even devastation. It's not an easy path, and this is not an easy book. It's well written. It is clear. But it calls for no shallow or quick answers as it directs the reader to face their hurts and failures. The path is to walk honestly into suffering in faith that the things that have gone wrong in this world are somehow a means for us to become deeply aware of our need for - and God's desire for - a deep intimacy with Him.

This book refuses to cheapen God and refuses to cheapen His grace, and instead is a call for us to be thankful for our hurts and brokenness because in them we discover our need for God - and that he responds in ways beyond what we could ever ask or imagine. Crabb's purpose in this book is to call us to "an encounter with God that creates community and transforms lives", and the right track for the journey to joy he suggests is offered not merely as information dispensed, but also in an eight lesson 100 page workbook usable by individuals or groups.

There is some risk that a book like this tends to redefine Christian community in rather insular terms and so miss the missional purpose of the church. And yet the missional purpose of the church is one of calling people into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ in the context of the community of his people, and if the community of his people cannot faithfully lead people into the real means of that relationship, then the outwardly focused missional efforts are inevitably limited by the latter failure.

This is a faithful text of quality. Thank you Dr. Crabb. ( )
  PastorBob | Apr 10, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A good application of Naomi's life from the Book of Ruth. Demonstrates how God uses misplaced hope to draw us to him and ultimate joy. Recommended.
  ianclary | Jul 6, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Larry Crabb, one of my favorite Christian teachers, did an amazing job writing this book. He makes everything so clear and allows us to work through the concepts related to God's grace with an included workbook! ( )
  FindingGrace | Jun 25, 2011 |
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