Monday, September 30, 2013

*Clear Winter Nights*

Clear Winter Nights: A Journey into Truth, Doubt, and What Comes After


Clear Winter Nights gets right to the heart of many people's Christian experience.

Chris has been pushed to a crisis point. He is about to make a decision about the character of God in a time of desperation right after being terribly, cruelly hurt by a person who was never supposed to hurt him: his father.

Reeling from this experience of human brokenness on a very personal level, Chris is led to question everything he thought he understood about spiritual matters.

Chris ends up at his Grandfather's house, ostensibly to aid his Grandpa after a stroke. Grandpa Gil is feeling physical weakness, yet living with gratitude even though his world has titled on its axis again so soon after he lost his wife.
Chris is spiritually depleted to the point that the darkness and distance feels like it will never lift.

Yet as you read their exchanges, you find out that Chris still believes a lot more than he thinks, and his faith is a lot stronger than he dared to believe.
Chris has tenacity in him that causes him to dig deep... something that God enjoys in His people.

I love Grandpa Gil for the kind yet firm way he deals with Chris.
For one example, Chris decided to try and compare three Spring holidays: one Christian, one Jewish, and one Muslim. He explained to Grandpa that they are all basically the same, celebrating the triumph of the human spirit. {At this point Grandpa is trying to keep a straight face, because that is a deduction that would only be made by a 21st century liberal religion professor or one of his students- never by a Muslim, Jew or Christian who understands their own religion.}

Gil is a wise old man, and even rarer than his wisdom was his ability to let Chris talk and say things that didn't always make sense, and sometimes to say things that downright hurt. I think that was Gil's humility, which he had come to own through years of following Christ.

I think the most comforting thing for Chris was that his Grandpa was an older man who believed all that Chris wanted to, and who had believed it for years and years, decade after decade of faithfulness at a time. He put a caring, care-worn face on the words: A long obedience in the same direction.
And that, for me, is what is comforting about elderly Christians: Their lives are proof that this stuff applies for ever, that it is a sustainable belief. You will not outgrow Christianity. Rather, it will richen and deepen for you the longer you live it. As C. S Lewis said, Jesus will grow bigger to you as you grow.

This book would be excellent reading for any Christian in a position of ministry (which is just about everyone in one way or another) especially to youth, hurting people, or those who teach apologetics. 
The biggest lesson I believe you will take away is from Gil's attitude. His words are accurate and kind, but it is the attitude, the welcoming come-as-you-are-and-I-will-listen-to-you attitude that we most need to emulate within the Church. If you ask today's youth, they'd probably tell you that is what they find most lacking in Christianity. 


 Thank you Readers Favorite for my copy of Clear Winter Nights!





A few words about us…
My name is Trevin Wax. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. My wife is Corina, and we have three children, Timothy, Julia, and David.
Currently, I serve the church by working at LifeWay Christian Resources as managing editor of The Gospel Project, a gospel-centered small group curriculum for all ages that focuses on the grand narrative of Scripture.

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