Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Review: A Layman Looks at the Lord’s Prayer

I got this book out of a pile.  When my church in Cali merged with the church whose building we were using, the new combined church leadership cleaned out the building.  There were stacks of books along the wall in the sanctuary; books for people to take.  This particular book looked intriguing.  I mean, come on, how can someone walk away from a cover so fabulously 70s?

Lord's prayer book

A Layman Looks at the Lord’s Prayer was published in 1976.

I was also interested to see what the layman’s take on the Lord’s Prayer might be.  The book breaks the prayer down into 12 chapters.  Each chapter looks at one phrase of the Lord’s Prayer.  - Although the last chapter seems more of a mouthful than that, “For Thine Is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, for Ever. Amen.”  I sort of expected “Amen.”  to have its own chapter.

I was super excited to see that the book used the debts/debtors version of the prayer as that has always resonated more strongly with me.  I have lots of debts and fairly often have debtors.  I rarely have trespassers to worry about forgiving.

The structure of the book was pretty neat, and I imagine some of the content probably is, too.  I couldn’t really tell.  The text is so repetitive my mind kept wandering off and before I knew it I’d have read 3 pages without a full sentence registering in my head.  Then I’d scan the pages for about 5 seconds and get the gist.

I was paying enough attention to realize that some of the book was quite critical of “other” Christians.  I don’t really know who these others are, only that they misinterpret the Lord’s prayer and do their relationship with God wrong, according to the author. 

The author showed good knowledge of scripture and often worked hymns into the text, too.  That was neat, but not neat enough for me to sing this book’s praises.  I’ll reserve those for Our Father.  It seems there’s a series of A Layman Looks at books.  I don’t think I’ll be looking at any others.

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