Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Map: A Christian Thriller

Reading this book, I felt I'd stumbled into the men's locker room. I enjoyed the opening. David Murrow starts with a fiction section that reads much like the DaVinci Code. It's predictable and mildly exciting., but it gets the book off to an interesting start. Without the fiction portion, I believe the book would get bogged down with not enough content.

I got out of the mood of the journeys when Murrow claimed them to be an exclusively male province. The purpose of the book is to describe the three journeys of Christ as found in Matthew. The idea is that we start from a journey of submission followed by a journey of strength and ending with a journey of sacrifice. The concept relates well not to just church attendance, but to many aspects of life, particularly where decisions must be made, acted on and the consequences lived with. I found all of this fascinating.

The book concentrates on what it starts out to do: encourage men to become more interested and involved in church. I agree with Murrow that the journeys are beneficial for men, but I could equally see the application to women. The emphasis on masculine and feminine is a fine metaphor but in fact the way he explains them, they refer more to characteristics than physical people. Women are perfectly capable of taking the same journeys as men, and I believe the church would function better if both sexes were encouraged to do so.

I enjoyed the book, but I think the focus is too narrow. The idea can be explained simply. If it were broadened to include a larger population that would benefit from the journeys, I think it would be more interesting.

I reviewed this book as part of Thomas Nelson's Book Sneeze Program.