Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Review: Peace Be With You

Peace Be With You

By David Carlson

If you've been following my blog/reviews for any length of time, it probably won't come as much of a surprise that when I saw a book about a peaceful Christian response to 9-11 on the review list, I jumped at the chance.  Monks were just the icing on the cake for me.

Peace Be with You is the product of a journey Carlson took with the the intent to gain a perspective on the events of September 11, 2001 from monks residing in monasteries around the United States. He stayed at numerous monastic residences, interviewing monks at each one about their experiences and thoughts on 9-11.

The wisdom offered in this book is relevant and moving.  Offered in this series of interviews and experiences is a take on terrorism and responses to it that is counter to the typical American "act first, think later" response to attacks.  Carlson, as a result of speaking to the oft-forgotten praying men of our country, suggests that we have not spent enough time in contemplation over what got us to 9-11 in the first place.  What would bring someone, no less a beautiful created being than any American Christian, to commit the crimes that took place that day?  What could we have done differently beforehand to prevent that from ever happening?

This book is so much deeper than any review can possibly express.  No matter how you feel about what happened on 9-11 and the reaction that the American people and leaders have to it, this book offers much to think about.  It is not, by any means, a fast or easy read.  It is meaty and contemplative and takes emotional and spiritual energy to get through.  And that's exactly why I love it so much.  It is unassuming and powerful.

Some reviewers have mentioned that Carlson missed the opportunity to express the Gospel of Christ more, but I think that is expressed quite beautifully through the love and forgiveness that are woven throughout.  Not every Christian book has to be overtly evangelistic in intent to be powerful to Christians and non-Christians alike.

With the 10 year anniversary of that dreadful day approaching, I strongly recommend checking this book out and spending some time with it.  How did you process?  Are you still processing?  Do you need to re-process?  This book can aid you on that journey.

This review is made possible by Booksneeze and the publisher, who provided me with a reviewer copy of the book.

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