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J. D. Williamson


  • The Shack

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Wm. Paul Young
    • Narrated By Roger Mueller

    Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare.

    Renato says: "much more than I expected"
    "Thought Provoking"

    Although there were parts of this book that were definitely outside my comfort zone in terms of my perceptions of God, I'm glad I listened to it. My suggestion to anyone considering this book is to be ready to honestly explore why you agree or disagree with the author's representations of God or theology. I found that if agreed or disagreed with the author I've still gained a deeper understanding of why I believe what I believe.

    28 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • A Secret of the Universe: A Story of Love, Loss, and the Discovery of an Eternal Truth

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Stephen L. Gibson
    • Narrated By Stephen L. Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is the story of two high-school pals from the Midwest for whom a personal tragedy sets in motion a journey of inquiry that spans a lifetime of cruel and glorious twists, and culminates in an astonishing discovery. Ian wants answers his faith can't provide, so he abandons traditional religion and its magic, mysticism, and supernaturalism, turning instead to a worldview of pure science and reason.

    J. D. Williamson says: "What Secret?"
    "What Secret?"

    The premise of honest evaluation of traditional Christianity with the collective knowledge of our time interested me enough to buy this book. I listened with an open mind but the book descended rather quickly into the very blind acceptance of values and assumptions for which the book accuses Christianity of doing. If there was an astonishing discovery I missed it.

    There was a lot of promotion of the school of thought that Jesus never existed and the Christian Bible is a collection of recycled myths from other cultures. This could help listeners understand the details of these theories but these arguments are certainly not new. The book says most people don't know about these alternative views because the church has repressed the truth, but many Biblical scholars might say they haven't gained traction in the spiritual market of ideas due to their own lack of merit. The Secret Of The Universe in the book was delivered wrapped in a bunch of spiritual babble and by then end of the book the main characters were making weepy speeches and sounding like they could be members of Oprah's team of spiritual advisors.

    Those who embrace more traditional Christian views may have issues with some aspects of the book such as profanity, pre-marital sex by the main characters not seen as inconsistent with their Christian faith, a long-term extra-marital affair portrayed as God's provision of intimacy, an ongoing lesbian relationship approved by the husband because he is glad his wife was able to find another person who could love her as much as he does.

    There are discussions in the book about many topics of interest that those who embrace, study, or disagree with Christianity will find helpful and thought provoking. Both sides of controversial ideas are presented for balance, but the balance definitely is not 50/50.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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