Book Review: This Beautiful Mess


Hello again everybody!

A book a week is a very fast pace for me, and yet here we are two weeks into the summer and that seems to be what I'm up to! Don't forget, I've got this Goodreads account now, so you can follow along with all my reading pleasures. 

One of the things Goodreads makes me do is to finally give stars to books. 5 stars is great, 1 star is I hated it. I'll admit that after I finished Rick McKinley's This Beautiful Mess last night, my mouse had a hard time choosing how many stars to give it. Here's why: 

I think it's a great book. I think all of the information it provides is relevant, and I think the angles McKinley writes from are angles that I appreciate and agree with. But while there were a few new thoughts posed to me in this book, it felt like something I had read before. I think a lot of people are talking about the breaking in of the Kingdom of God into the world we find ourselves living. I think people have written about how our money management and creation care matter a great deal to the King, and how we should approach those decisions with the Kingdom of God. All of that is true, and all of that is needed in this American culture. 

But as I kept reading, and as I kept realizing that I have read countless other books just like this one, I became more and more frustrated both at myself and at the Church. If so many people are aware of how the American Empire and the Kingdom of God are at odds with each other, and books sales on this topic are lucrative, then why hasn't anything changed? If so many in the pews could read McKinley's book and sound their silent "amen", then where's the radical action that is prescribed? 

This may be why this is one of a few books where I actually appreciated a pastor sharing what his church is doing. At least someone gets it. At least someone is making progress in opening the eyes of the community to the Kingdom. 

I think if I was in a different mindset, I would have LOVED this book. As it was, I was looking for something that would challenge me and my way of thinking, and at the end of the day McKinley and I see the world far too similarly for me to be challenged. 

And so at the moment, I've given this book THREE STARS, but with the understanding that I'm going to read it again later sometime this year, and that my mindset being different, it might earn itself more. But for McKinley's part, the writing is solid, and the points made are brilliant. I think I'm just in the mood to read someone who makes me want to punch them!

More reviews to come!