Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Purple State of Mind--a review

I've been remiss in posting a review for A Purple State of Mind, even though I posted on it back here. Part of the problem was I wanted to do the book justice and kept thinking I would have more time to write a more thorough review.

However, I've discovered that by the time I find the time (ha!) to write the review, it'll be so far past, I'll have forgetten what I read. So.

This book surprised me. I didn't expect to like it too much since it seemed to be about politics, and since I read it before the election, I'd had enough of that subject. The "purple" in the title is the merging of red state/blue state perspectives.

However, that's not really what this book is about. But it might take a little explanation. There is a companion DVD, which I haven't watched yet but really want to after reading the book. The DVD is a series of taped conversations between the author, Craig Detweiler, and his college friend. The two have taken different philosophical and religious paths since their college days and the conversations are about some hard questions that come from those different perspectives. Why did they end up on the paths they did when they seemed to hold the same beliefs at one time?

The book goes into those questions deeper, giving us Detweiler's thoughts about the questions and the conversations from the DVD, and some more challenging thoughts about why Christians seem to be known more for what they are against rather than for being known for their love. He continues to challenge us to find common ground with those we disagree with rather than jumping to separate ourselves and coming off as judgmental.

That's an oversimplification of the book, obviously. I really enjoyed the book and felt it did challenge all of us to move beyond red/blue, conservative/liberal, believer/heathen (okay, that last one was mine!) labels and change the way we think.

I'm looking forward to watching the DVD on one of these snowy days, and I would encourage you to pick up the book or the DVD and give it a try.

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