7 Reasons you SHOULDN’T Read Something Other than God

Book Review, Books, faith, I believe / Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Now that I finished Jennifer Fulwiler’s  Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It, I’d like to share 7 Quick Takes about –

Why You SHOULDN’T read Something Other Than God :

1. You are an atheist and have no desire to understand a theists perspective – much less from a crazy Catholic convert. Besides, you already know there isn’t a God so what would the be point of reading about why a former atheist changed her mind through logical investigative reasoning?

2. You’ve been a Catholic all your life and really don’t see what the big deal is or care about why anyone else would want to become Catholic after living as an atheist most of her life.

3. You think the Catholic Church’s teachings on contraception and abortion are totally backwards and enslave women and their bodies and you don’t understand why in a sane world someone with Jennifer’s life-threatening blood clotting issues exacerbated by pregnancy would still decline the use of contraception or sterilization. 
4. You’ve been using NFP in and effort to follow the Church’s teachings but deep down you feel bitter and resentful and are thinking of throwing all your charts into the incinerator and calling in a prescription or maybe sending your husband in for an “appointment”. 
5. Your life is perfect and you have found peace and existential happiness with your abundant collection of material possessions, life successes, and celebrity-like popularity. There is no feeling of “something missing” slowly gnawing at you and eating you alive. 
6. Your life pretty much sucks. And from the looks of it, so does most of the world’s with tragic suffering everywhere you look. Reading a book about someone thinking there is a “good” God in the midst of all this pain is so ridiculous it makes you sick. 
7.  You like the idea of a God and in some ways wish you did believe one existed. You can’t help but notice the joy in the lives of those who believe – even if their lives are far from “perfect”. But you pride yourself on only believing in what is real – rationally proven with sound and logical evidence. Besides, why should you have to believe in “God” in order to live a meaningful and purposeful life? No, a book about why someone just like you thought these same things and yet opened herself to rationally think “what if?” and then eventually realized God does exist and that He did become man and in fact did rise from the dead and started a Church to continue his teachings which is still around today in much the same way as it was over 2000 years ago…no, you of all people, should definitely  not read Something Other Than God.
All that said and done, here are 

7 reasons why I did read and like Something Other Than God

If you don’t fall into any of the above categories about why you shouldn’t read Something Other Than God  then maybe should read it – just for fun. 

1. As I answered to a friend who asked why I recommend it,   I love hearing about and reading about other people and their stories. As a cradle Catholic, my religion was given to me – which I am very thankful for. But I’ve always wondered what it would be like if I’d never known it and then sudd enly discovered it. Reading Jennifer’s book is like enjoying listening to a new friend tell me her story and getting a tiny glimpse at what it is like to discover and fall head over heels in love with God, Christ, and His beautiful Church. 

2. Honesty. Jennifer shares very honestly why she chose to be an atheist and why she pretty much thought Christians – especially Catholics – were insane. Although it took time, I really admire that because she prided herself as a rational thinker, she was open enough to take an honest look at the whole “God” theory and the Catholic Church – even if she did think the whole idea was completely ridiculous. 

3. Her openness to share her questions and invite others to respond through her blog. I like that she intentionally sought out people whom she could dialogue with respectfully and intellectually. 

4. Her family. Wow. Even though her dad is an atheist and her mom a former Catholic-turned atheist (agnostic?), they were always open with her about religion. They didn’t want religion forced on her by anyone including themselves. However, when she started investigating theism and Catholicism, they respected her and even encouraged her and have continued to be incredibly supportive of her and Joe and their family – even if they don’t necessarily agree. They are genuinely happy for her happiness.

5. Her husband, Joe. Another wow. Much like my own husband, he seems like the type of guy who once he sees something and understands why it makes sense he accepts it and believes it – just like that. While I (and from what I can tell Jennifer) on the other hand have to circle around and around and then around again before I finally decide it’s safe to land…and even then I still continue doubting and questioning. I was really impressed with both his ambitious drive and his ability to give all his dreams up and begin living a new life once he saw how the Catholic Church really is THE Church Christ founded and remains a part of. I really appreciate that Jennifer included a peek into his own conversion story into hers. 

6. Excellent writing. This is going to come out sounding badly but I love her writing and have always thought she was talented but I didn’t know she could write this well! I mean I follow her blog and enjoy her funny crazed-mommy banter and occasional deeper posts but this book was something else. It was like peeling back the in-the-moment blog-writer layer and seeing something even more astounding. I only hope I could write a book like this as well as she has done. (Although it would probably take me double or triple the time it took her…if my mind is still alert by then!) Reading Something Other Than God is like reading a fictional thriller and theological brain stimulator all in one – and enjoying it!

7. Of course my favorite part about reading Something Other Than God is that it made me think. And I love thinking – even it does make my brain hurt. I’ve been going through a sort of “questioning” time with my Faith. Not doubting per say, just re-thinking and trying to re-understand things with a new perspective and understanding I didn’t have growing up. As I read through Something Other Than God, I was surprised more than once when she shared her questions about God and the Church that were almost verbatim to the ones that have been creeping around my brain lately. The answers she found gave me new direction and hope and relief to know that I’m not the only one who wonders about certain things. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Something Other Than God was “life-changing” for me. But I could see how it could be for others – especially those who “shouldn’t” read it. But I can say that it has inspired me to continue on the journey of rediscovering my Catholic Faith and searching deeper for God. 

Ok well there you have it friends. 7 reasons why you SHOULDN’T read Something Other Than God and 7 reasons why, on the other hand, maybe you SHOULD. 

(P.S. this post contains affiliate links which means you send pretty pennies for our family when you make any purchases via the links.)

2 Replies to “7 Reasons you SHOULDN’T Read Something Other than God”

  1. Oftentimes, when bloggers write books, the books just seem like blog posts thrown together. I’m glad to hear Jen’s isn’t like that. Of course, I never thought hers would. I’ve heard her speak, and she has a clever mind and a knack for putting words together. I’ll be getting my copy soon.

    1. Hi Christine, thanks for stopping by and commenting! No her book is definitely not just a complilation of big posts. It’s written in a clear and classical memoir style and takes on a very different tone and voice from her blog. I love her blog too but it was nice to “see” this side of her also.

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