Friday, March 7, 2014

Faith in the Fog, by Jeff Lucas

Jeff Lucas has a realistic approach to doubt: it happens.  Sometimes even the most faithful Christians face times of fog, when faith demands more of us than times of clarity.  In Faith in the Fog, Lucas reflects on the experience of Peter and the other disciples, who, after the death of Jesus, went back to their boats, fishing in the Sea of Galilee.  One foggy morning, a stranger tells them to toss the net to the other side of the boat.  Of course, it turns out to be Jesus, who shares breakfast with them in one of their last meetings with him on earth.

Faith in the Fog took a while for me to get into.  Especially early on, it's part memoir, part rambling faith journey, part Bible study.  The fog did begin to clear, but by the end of the book, I was left thinking, Well, that was pleasant to read, and Lucas has some nice thoughts and keen insights, but what was the point overall?  I concluded that Faith in the Fog is best read with that sort of attitude: a devotional reading journey, not a systematic teaching.

Don't read that as too critical; there really are some good tidbits here.  I especially enjoyed his perspective on experience versus faith.  Sometimes Christians tend to rely on "epic encounters with God," but "discipleship is not just about us craving big moments and major encounters; it involved our slow, sometimes painful growth in the day-in, day-out experiences in the academy called life."  Faith demands "holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods."  Faith is the "miracle of endurance, when we feel little or nothing."

Pick up Faith in the Fog and you will likely see a bit of yourself in Lucas's pondering.  He has a gift for colorfully telling these stories from the Bible, and for drawing their lessons into our lives.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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