True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In
By James Choung (reviewed by Peter DeHaan)
Caleb is questioning God, faith, and what he has been taught. “What if we’ve settled? What if Jesus did more than we think?” Pastor Dave is unnerved by the questions, wanting to give pat evangelical answers – or to dismiss the questions altogether. Caleb’s friend Anna isn’t helpful either; she is skeptical and antagonistic.
So begins James Choung’s narrative story of a young follower of Jesus who yearns for more. Fortunately, he finds a willing mentor in Shalandra, one of his professors. She patiently takes him on a spiritual journey to rediscover and reinvigorate his faith. The good news about Jesus is much more than just about going to heaven when we die; the good news starts here and it starts now.
Shalandra helps Caleb deconstruct the incomplete gospel that he has been taught, rebuilding it on the foundation of Jesus and the whole Biblical narrative, that is, the “true story.” Although Caleb is a willing traveler on this journey, it is at times too intense, too much for him to absorb, yet he keeps going.
Anna’s a different story. Having rejected Christianity for the hurtful things that some of Jesus’ followers have done, she doesn’t want to hear what Caleb has been learning, even though the causes she is passionate about nicely fit into the “true story.”
Will Shalandra’s tutelage succeed? Will Caleb accept this new gospel of “a Christianity worth believing in?” Can the rift between Dave and Caleb be mended? And what about Anna; will she ever be open to listen?
True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In is a cleverly woven narrative, providing insightful instruction in story form. True Story is ideal for the postmodern thinker who is seeking real answers and practical solutions to their place in this messed up world. It also aptly serves the modern thinker who wants to understand today’s younger generations. Either way, if you want to have a Christianity worth believing in, check out James Choung’s True Story.
[True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In, by James Choung. Published by InterVarsity Press, 2008, ISDN: 978-0-8303-3609, 231 pages.]
Read more book reviews by Peter DeHaan.