Sunday, August 07, 2011

Courageous by Randy Alcorn

The first chapter of this book was amazing! Without being a spoiler, it wasn't until I finished the first chapter that the reality of what I had just read hit with a bang! The first chapter was clever and drew me in and gave me a taste of more intriguing storylines.

The second and third chapter were a bit slow and I had to dig deep to keep going. While I struggled with Chapter Three, I realized Courageous was in my movie theatre! I thought that was cool and knowing this was also a movie, I cracked open the book and dug in (I like comparing books to their movie counterparts).

After becoming familiar with each of the four families discussed in this story, I began to look forward to realizing how the lives would connect. This book was family-friendly, Christ-focused and a blessing to behold. Courageous depicted the hard life of boys without fathers who turn to gangs to belong. The author also was quite graphic in describing the violence and danger associated with being a cop. I appreciated that graphic depiction, as many Christian fiction stories can be a little too "nicey nice" for the evil days we are truly living (Matthew 24:4-14).

A criticism I had was the repeated reference to the 'Resolution'. The Bible could have been that reference point to draw the men into the agreement to be better fathers and husbands. A page from the Bible could have just as easily been printed out and framed and referred to by Scripture and verse. I feel there was a bit of a marketing/promotion of a new fad which I have come to realize is correct, as "Focus on the Family" is pushing for a men's group to embrace the 'Resolution'. I am all for men becoming more godly, but have them bring their Bible's and not a new program with materials. We have enough 'programs'! We need to wear out the pages of our own Bibles (that is just my opinion.)

Another criticism I had what that there way too many references to food in this book! Not just humans consuming, preparing, or rejoicing over food - but the people giving their dogs food often and food that dogs should not be eating! One of the dogs was sick so the father took it to the vet. The man had just told the wife that he had given the dog people food (forget what it was) and then the dog wasn't feeling well so he brought it to the vet. Right after bringing the dog home from the vet he gave the dog pancakes, bacon and maple syrup! Duh. No wonder the dog was sick. I hope the dog didn't get fed unnecessary antibiotics in between.

Not to beat a dead horse so to speak, but, the dog eating badly scenario occurred with three separate dogs and those dogs were each mentioned at least twice each. I found those types of food discussions ridiculous. Christians including food in everything I am used to - but the inclusion of the canine cooking eating badly - did not enjoy so much!

I hope to see Courageous the movie soon. The book was really good. I enjoyed reading it and hope to hear more family-friendly plots from author Randy Alcorn!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers as part of their  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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