Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Spiritual Empowerment, Benevolence,
And The Experience Of God's Love
By Matthew T. Lee, Margaret M. Poloma, Steven G. Post

OVERVIEW: "The Heart of Religion avoids simplistic portrayals of the subject by recognizing that godly love is often forged in the crucible of suffering, and that expressions of godly love vary across social contexts and life circumstances. This volume demonstrates that thoughtful scientific investigations can and  must take seriously the dynamics and experiences that are central to religion. It will offer an important correction to a longstanding oversight in the social scientific study of religion." - Professor of Sociology, University of Texas at San Antonio

AUTHORS: Matthew T. Lee
is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Akron. He is co-author with Margaret Poloma of A Sociological Study of the Great Commandment in Pentecostalism. Margaret M. Poloma is research Professor of Sociology, University of Akron. She is the author of Main Street Mystics, among other books. Stephen G. Post is the President of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, the author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping, and a Professor of Medical Humanities at Stony Brook University.

MY REVIEW: This is a difficult review for me. I like this book. In fact it is an excellent book on a needed subject. It's difficult for me to write the review because although I like it I'm not sure that I can recommend it to others. The reason I feel that way is because this is a scholarly book and I feel that most of those who read my reviews are like me, they mostly read books about Christian living that are easy to read.

The love these authors write about is one of the most important topics in the world. The research they do is fantastic. The stories they tell help the readers understanding. But some of the stories dealing with miracles will be questioned and in some minds this will devalue the book. I wish that was not true but I'm afraid that it is. Still I feel the stories needed to be told.

The book is well written but in a scholarly way and that will make for difficult reading for some. The printing is average size but the paragraphs are close together on the page and every page is packed full. Perhaps I shouldn't say it but many readers are just plain lazy. They will thumb through the book and decide they don't have time for it and choose something else. Sad.

My recommendation is that this is a book for the well educated reader who likes to dig into a subject and get to the heart of the matter. If this book is read the way it should be it will open doors for you to experience God's love.

(I received this book from The B & B Media Group, Inc. in exchange for a fair and honest review.)