Tag Archive | Christian

Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

Overview: Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel’ Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes. Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab’s untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well–walls of fear, rejection, and unworthiness. A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith…of pride. A marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth and find healing in God.

My thoughts: The book in general kept me entertained. However, it seemed a bit unbelievable at sometimes. The most unbelievable part was probably Rahab’s instant conversion to Judaism. It didn’t make sense that she would so easily believe in another God when her society’s gods failed everyone. It’d make more sense if she was skeptical of God. She has Christian ideals before Christianity even exists. I know I’m supposed to believe that her prostitution is bad, but I don’t believe the book gives enough evidence since details aren’t given and she’s very choosy about who she does things with. She has freedom that other women in her time period don’t have. If her career choice is ripping her apart on the inside, she doesn’t show it much except towards the end. It’s quite unbelievable that her culture would look at zonahs as bad people since prostitutes are in the temple, too. In fact, it feels like the book endorses friends with benefit relationships when Rahab takes in Debir and looks back fondly on their friendship. The book doesn’t show the gruesomeness of her profession.

The writing isn’t very descriptive when it comes to deep feelings, and a lot of cliche figures of speech are used. A bunch of figures of speech are too modern for the time period of the setting. I felt like the ending was a bit anti-climatic and expected something more. The book moved very quickly time wise.

The book was cliche just like the writing. It was like a romance novel except with intercourse after marriage instead of before. The Salmone’s love at first seemed unbelievable, but later it was convincing. Personally, the love scenes sort of filled me with warmth, but at the same time the cheesiness made me laugh. It’s a very good light read, but I’d only recommend it if you’re Christian. I may be wrong, but unless someone has a background of Christianity, I don’t think they’d understand the values and ideals in the story.

I found this for free at Amazon.com and downloaded it on my kindle.

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Sex and the City Uncovered

Overview: Sex and the City, the popular television series and motion picture franchise, glorifies the lifestyles of four fashionable New York women who hang out in bars and talk bluntly about their broad range of sexual experiences. 

The awards lavished upon the show would imply it holds some redeeming value. However, despite claims that Sex and the City is ultimately about the longing for a committed relationship, the glamorization of casual sex and always looking fabulous can take a toll on impressionable young women.

Just ask Marian Jordan. In Sex and the City Uncovered she admits, “A painful existence of ‘looking for love in all the wrong places’ is hidden behind images of couture fashion, witty dialogue, and beautiful people. I know this to be true because I’ve lived it.”

A former party girl with her own stories of hookups, hangovers, and heartbreak, Marian now speaks about the unfailing love she has found in Jesus and helps struggling women fill their hearts with this same joy.

Marian Jordan is founder of Redeemed Girl Ministries, showing girls of all ages how to apply God’s truth and promises to their unique circumstances. She speaks to students across the nation, lives in Houston, and holds her master’s degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

My thoughts:I found out about this book by reading the advertisements on the back of the toilet stall walls in a hall at my university. It really pulled me in solely because it exposed the media. The author actually came to speak at my university, but for some reason or another, I didn’t go.

I honestly thought that the book would have been a bit different, but it’s a bit simple minded. When I first read it, all I could think of was the Condescending Willie meme saying, “Tell me more.” Many times my brain responded to the writing with “Well, no, duuuuh!” I don’t mean to disrespect the author, but my thoughts were quite mean because I’m not her targeted audience. It’s more geared towards college-aged women who actually keep up with today’s media. The language is very casual, and it sounds like it’s written by someone for someone who’s very active in the social world.

The author approached the topic of media affecting people through a religious point of view. More specifically, she details her struggle and points out how the show Sex and the City can mislead some people into thinking it’s a great lifestyle without problems. I honestly thought it would have more scientific facts, but it focuses more on a woman’s relationship with God. Sometimes the examples she uses are a bit extreme, and she doesn’t address the middle ground. Let’s just say sometimes social drinking doesn’t always lead to out of control hooking up and drug abuse and may not lead to emptiness. I also think that the author makes too many generalizations about women wanting to feel needed or desired by men to have worth. It’s true that society, especially the media, places a lot of emphasis on women’s beauty, but personally, I’ve never felt that being wanted by men makes me a woman. Sometimes it was hard for me to place myself in the shoes of her audience and actually accept her advice.

Overall, the book in itself is pretty complete, and the best part is that the author reminds every woman that she is worth something. I’d recommend it to young Christian women who want relationships, intimacy, friendships, and a place to belong. It’s great that it warns women about the dangers of believing the media, but I think it sort of sells itself short solely relying on God. It’d be a lot more convincing if she cited more studies about the damaging effects of media and then mentioned how a pathway to God can help heal the damage. Either way, it made me consider my distant relationship with God and made me question if I was walking the right path although I’m not a party girl or an empty girl. The book does have some value, especially if it’s read by the right audience.

I borrowed this book from my college library through a inter-library loan.