book review – The Peacegiver: How Christ Offers to Heal Hearts and Homes, by James Ferrell

This was recommended by a friend.  My thoughts:

profound and practical insights about relationship to Jesus Christ, couched in an unfortunately mediocre “story”

The short: I recommend this book. I learned a great deal about those things that matter most. The writing isn’t great.

The story: Rick has an unhappy marriage. He is thinking of giving up. His deceased grandfather appears to him in vision and takes him to the scene of several Bible stories, teaching Rick how the Savior’s atonement applies to his marriage. Rick tries to implement the lessons.

The good: Ferrell highlights several elements of the atonement that I had not previously considered and others that I needed reminding of. He uses the story of Abigail in the Old Testament (I know: Who? But she’s really in there) as a metaphor for Christ suffering not only for our sins but for the sins of those who have offended us, leaving us with little recourse but to forgive (Chapters 3-7). He deepens the metaphor with the story of the prophet Jonah and his withholding of charity towards Nineveh even as the Lord had already forgiven (Chapters 9-14). He movingly fleshes out the Savior’s sacrifice in Gethsemane (Chapters 22-25). These are well worth the read.

The bad: A tiny fraction of the book is dedicated to the actual story, the rest is conversation between Rick and Grandpa and – mostly – monologues from Grandpa. Take the absurdly long speech from John Galt in Atlas Shrugged and multiply it by ten. The book is either too long (it should have been a series of essays, skipping the slim story altogether) or too short (it should have had a more developed story). Given that Ferrell’s writing is not exceptional, I vote for the former.

But since we cannot dictate terms to the author, I am left to recommend the book as it is. The insights outweigh the annoyances. In particular, I recommend Parts 1, 2, and 4.

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3 thoughts on “book review – The Peacegiver: How Christ Offers to Heal Hearts and Homes, by James Ferrell”

  1. Great review. I read the book, really enjoyed what I learned from Abigail, but wasn’t keen on the story. Have you read “Bonds That Free Us?”

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