|Book Reveiw 6-25
Sunday, January 6, 2008
By Denise Turney
Motivational speakers, preachers, song writers, family members and friends tell us to let the past go, to release the guilt and the shame of a mistake we made and move forward into a bright future. For many of us this is easier said (and listened to) than done. In his new book, After The Fall, Reverend Donald Hilliard, a husband and a father, builds a case for rising above shame and guilt over past mistakes through truths found in scripture. After The Fall uses scripture and real life examples, both current and historical, to show how clinging to mistakes of the past weakens us. Scripture serves as the foundation for the book, and in that, After The Fall is written on eternal truths.
At the start of After The Fall, I felt judgment, pointing out mistakes of leaders and everyday people, was too much the focus of the book. From King David to a married couple’s sexual indiscretions to shortcomings in the church, the book illustrates mistakes we have made to a point where some readers may become defensive and lose sight of the help found in our Creator’s eternal love for us. I also wanted the author to mention a few great mistakes he had made in his own life which would bring his message closer to the reader. He does mention that no one is perfect and later into the book, he mentions an instance where he used his ministerial attire to make another driver feel repentant after the driver flipped him off in traffic, but he did not share deep mistakes he’d made in his life. It is this that I think adds to a sense of judgment in the book. It may be a reason so many find comfort in the words of King David and other great leaders; they specifically and openly reveal their own mistakes then, while refusing to quit on their lives, trust our Creator and show others who have fallen the way home.
After The Fall is not a book that makes light of mistakes we make when we live outside our Creator’s will. That is another of the book’s great strengths. By the book’s end, readers will know that ambivalence does not bring a good reward. As Joshua said, we have to make a choice. We cannot live life “waiting to make a final choice about what we want for our lives” while we skip from one lifestyle to another. Points made in After The Fall that bring this to the forefront are: You can’t receive new things until you drop the old things; “the first modification needed to break the power of past shame in our lives is a change of mind” (or a new choice);and dependence on God for “only God can fulfill the incredible promise given to us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 where it says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
After The Fall is written in an easy to understand style. Christians and non-Christians alike can readily connect to stories in the book. I read After The Fall in one sitting. Readers who regularly read and meditate on the scriptures may very well find their faith and their clear choice to follow our Creator strengthened. Despite the many examples of wrong choices made by those mentioned in the book, it is clear that Donald Hilliard wants to see each of After The Fall’s readers at the front – winning, right where we all belong. For believers and for those who feel alone in their mistakes (of which we all have made them), if you stick with the book and read it to its end, After The Fall may offer you the insight and the clear path back that you need to rise in God’s love again.
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