Review: “Will There be Faith?”

 

 

 

This is an unpaid for review of “Will There be Faith?” by Thomas H. Groome for the TLC book tour.  I was provided with a copy of the book to review.

 

amazon.com synopsis:

A Modern Manual for Sharing a Relevant, Vibrant, Enduring Faith

In the face of mounting obstacles, parents and educators find themselves increasingly challenged by the task of leading people toward lives of faith. Now Thomas Groome, a world-renowned authority on religious education, has created a contemporary, holistic approach to teaching Christian beliefs and values that offers real, effective solutions for today’s parents and teachers. His guide to religious education—which aims to “bring life to Faith and Faith to life”—is a hopeful road map for reenergizing the faith community and family from the bottom up.

A Modern Manual for Sharing a Relevant, Vibrant, Enduring Faith

In the face of mounting obstacles, parents and educators find themselves increasingly challenged by the task of leading people toward lives of faith. Now Thomas Groome, a world-renowned authority on religious education, has created a contemporary, holistic approach to teaching Christian beliefs and values that offers real, effective solutions for today’s parents and teachers. His guide to religious education—which aims to “bring life to Faith and Faith to life”—is a hopeful road map for reenergizing the faith community and family from the bottom up.

My thoughts:

Groome has written a rather long and rather bookish piece that goes in depth into Christian Catholic education.  I’ll be completely honest, this is not an easy book to read and with my time constraints thanks to two very small children I ended up skimming a fair portion.  I find that this book is more of a theological and academic look at things, it is not written in my preferred style of “Easy, quick and can be read in small spurts in the bathroom because that’s the only time you get a chance to sit”.

I have some small issues with certain choices of wording, particularly his insistence on gender inclusive language.  What particularly bothered me was that he refused to use male pronouns to refer to God.  Now, I agree that God is sexless, however throughout Scripture he reveals himself as “father” and Jesus refers to God as “Abba” (daddy).  I think it’s also important to note that Jesus is both God and Male, which to me  means that it is proper grammatically to refer to God with male pronouns.  I know I’m picking hairs a bit here, but it’s so distracting to read about “Godself” in an effort to avoid using “Himself” in an apparent effort to appease the feminist left.

I think this book is not really practical for most parents.  It’s too theologically dense and there’s too much in the beginning to wade through in order to get to the practical stuff.  I would have much preferred a book that was solely practical.  I think if Mr Goome had devoted the whole text to that he could have expanded better on his method and it would be able to reach a much wider audience.

This book is probably best for those who are studying, either for the priesthood or religious life, or in a program to become a catechist.  This could definitely be a great textbook in a beginning catechisis or methodology class.  It would also be best used in a group setting, the questions provided along the way are great conversation starters and could be used to jump start group discussions.

Overall, I’m sure this book will be a great asset to many people, but I feel that it’s not the best for the “average” mom like me!

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3 thoughts on “Review: “Will There be Faith?”

  1. I am reviewing this book at the beginning of September. I am still reading it, but I have to agree with you regarding it not being an easy read for parents. I also dislike the gender neutral lengths he went to. He makes some good distinctions and I love the phrase inform, form and transform. I think that is what our goal in religious education as parents and as catechists.

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