Book review: The Beckoning
by Michael Minot
Well-written and touching, here’s another “atheist lawyer finds Jesus” story. Minot hooked me early in chapter one with this claim: “I was amazed to learn how the Scriptures read like a lengthy letter from the Creator to the objects of His love.” If Minot could impart this perspective to me, I would finally have what I’ve been searching for: a real reason why apologists should imagine that the God of the Bible is our creator.
The book didn’t quite take me there. In fact, bits of it feel a little presumptuous, even naive. Minot ignores the research of Bible scholars and historians, repeating instead the claims of amateur apologists, such as the idea that the Bible is full of unexplainable prophecies and truth-proving, recently-verified historical claims. Sometimes Minot pits Christianity against evolution or against science in general. There is a chapter-long warning against the wiles of Satan, who often “works through the voices of philosophers, political leaders, educators, scientists, or even those claiming to be experts in religion” … in other words, anyone who has studied a topic enough to know more than we do.
But there are definitely worthwhile sections too, because the journey Minot narrates rings of authenticity. Minot’s story of how he found a church that fits him is heart-felt. His feelings of love and awe and appreciation are surely sincere. He has experienced the goodness and comfort of Christianity, and rightfully wishes to share it with others.
It’s best, then, to read this book as Minot’s personal journey rather than scholarly research. It contains the arguments and discoveries that spoke to a new convert and urged him toward his brand of Christianity. Some readers will find Minot’s perspective convincing and some will not, but all will be inspired by Minot’s 180-degree transition from committed atheist to joyful believer.
Morgan James Publishing, © 2015, 195 pages