Lucas on Life (by Jeff Lucas)

It was only relatively recently that a friend introduced me to the excellent Christian writer Jeff Lucas. He's a British pastor who lives in the USA, and travels extensively as a speaker known for his humour.

'Lucas on Life' claims, on the front cover, to be 'packed full of laughter, tears and outrageous grace'. Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but still, this book contains some great stuff. It's a collection of short anecdotes and stories from Jeff's experiences in life, including some of his speaking assignments, loosely gathered into categories such as 'growing', 'relationships', 'faith', and more. I'm not sure that these were particularly cohesive as categories, but I suppose it was as good a way as any of organising his thoughts.

As I've come to expect with this author, there's a lot of low-key humour and some satire in these stories. There's also some gentle fun poked at various extremes within Christianity and the church in general. There was, in addition, much that was surprisingly thought-provoking. Sometimes there's a little twist at the end of a story, where Jeff realises he's pointing the finger back at himself - regularly I had to pause to consider the relevance to myself.

It's not a book to read at one sitting; each small section of two or three pages is complete in itself, and I preferred to read just one or two sections per day over six weeks or so. That gave me a gentle, lightly humorous start to the day and some ideas to ponder - not that any of them has made a huge difference to me, but I hope some of the thoughts have gone into my subconscious.

This book is probably not of much interest to anyone outside church circles entirely; and it's definitely not to be read by those who don't understand satire.

But I would recommend it very highly to ordinary people who love Jesus and who sometimes wish that the church - in the broadest understanding of the word - wouldn't take itself quite so seriously.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 12th February 2012

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