About the Book
When his three-year-old son first said the word “God,” panic erupted over Andrew Park’s face. Teaching his children about ethics, good manners, penmanship and the perfect free throw were no problem for Park. But when his son started asking about religion, he was stumped. Raised without a religious tradition in a family where teenage rebellion meant being born again as an Evangelical Christian, Park always believed he’d be a nonbeliever. But when his children confronted him with questions, what is a father to do?
In BETWEEN A CHURCH AND A HARD PLACE: One Faith-Free Father’s Struggle to Understand What it Means to be Religious (or Not), (Avery, on sale 3/4), Park takes readers along on his tour through religion in America on his quest to find a comfortable middle ground for himself and his family. Colorful and thought-provoking, Park chronicles his explorations through the varied and often contradictory influences of religion in his life so far ― his great-grandfather’s pioneering role in the Pentecostal movement of the early 20th century, his liberal intellectual parents’ rejection of the Protestant faiths in which they were raised, his childhood in the Bible Belt, and witnessing his older brother’s rebellious immersion in a Charismatic church.
Along the way, Park grapples with the divide between our irreligious and religious societies and whether peaceful coexistence between both can ever truly be achieved. BETWEEN A CHURCH AND A HARD PLACE is a thought-provoking and illuminating journey through religion in America and is sure to spark conversation between its readers.
My Take on the Book
This book was an interesting read. It opened my eyes to how an unbelieving fathers' eyes could be opened by his own children. I was amazed at how Park's story was played out within this book. A father who was raised without any religious convictions and who continued this into married life was challenged in his own disbeliefs when his son began asking questions that he could not answer. As his son began asking Park had to ask himself questions about how much religion he would allow into his childrens' lives.
The journey that this started was an interesting one as I also have been on one such as this in the past as I studied my own genealogy and the religious beginning of the family I am in. I, like Parks found that I have a history of religious individuals in my history, with my Great Great Grandfather being a minister, similar to Parks' own great-grandfather who also was a Pentecostal preacher.
I like the fact that Parks was challenged and eventually came to believe that he (as a father) had to allow his children the opportunity to think independently. Also, I enjoy the interactions that Parks had with Christians and non-Christians alike, as his writing style portrays vivid imagery that draws the reader in and allows them to live the experience with the characters within the story.
The book is an easy and quick read, and you continue to want to read to discover what Parks will do in the end. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has struggled with their own religious beliefs and how to portray them to your children, it will open your eyes.
If this book sounds like a book that you would like to have as a part of your own library, you can find it on Amazon!
How would you like to win a copy of this book for yourself? I will be giving away 2 of these books to a lucky reader! All you need to do is let me know why you would have an interest in this book to be considered. The contest will run for one week and will end on March 29, 2010.
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