Latest book review – Why I Still Believe

I received this book from my oldest daughter. She obviously knows me a little too well. I was never an atheist, however, I have struggled quite a bit with relationships in the body of Christ. Especially the last couple of years. It’s been so hard, and I know she just wants me not to be so frustrated (please note, I feel exactly the same way! I hate feeling so frustrated). So she heard Mary Jo Sharp speak at a conference and she purchased her book, Why I Still Believe, for my birthday. It was even signed! I was thrilled, but only recently had a chance to actually read the book in its entirety.

General thoughts on the book

My first thoughts were that this book was very well thought out. I loved how Sharp clearly wrote out why she came to various conclusions. I think our minds work similarly, since her arguments included several permutations of “devil’s advocate.” She kept thinking of potential responses and counter arguments to her conclusions. But she kept eventually landing on the simple Truth found in Scripture.

I also appreciated Sharp’s frankness. People are so difficult. And that includes God’s people. Sharp was unfairly criticized for ridiculous reasons at the hands of well intentioned, but completely off, people of God. I cringed, thinking of how awkward it would have been in the some of the situations she described.

I think we can all relate in some way. The results of sin, which often manifests in difficult, ornery people, are very real, regardless of whether or not we are Believers in Christ.

Why I still believe

At the end of the book, Sharp encourages her readers to share some of the reasons why we still believe. So I thought I’d share a few of my ruminations. Thinking back through my walk with Christ and my time with the body of Christ, there have been some definite ups and downs. But suffice it to say that by far the worst and most extreme has been these past few years. Many have described it as a time of shaking the church. I couldn’t agree more. And there was a lot more chaff than I realized.

But at the end of the day, these same people are who we are called to live our lives with. Yes, people can be disappointing, but they can also be such incredible blessings. It’s easy to focus on the frustrating parts of the church body. But whenever I’d find myself getting overly discouraged at some of my professing fellow Believers, the LORD would remind me of how His faithful people were still there and His goodness and kindness dwelled in them.

No perfect answers

At the end of the day, I agree whole heartedly with Sharp that there aren’t great answers when dealing with difficult Christians. That’s not a very satisfying answer, but it’s the truth. We can’t just tie up our lives with a bright bow and say our lives and friends are wonderful. And that clearly we have it all figured out. It’s just not that simple. And although holing up somewhere in the middle of nowhere sounds mighty tempting sometimes, that’s not what we’re called to do. Besides honoring God and enjoying Him forever (Shorter Westminster Catechism), we are called to have fellowship with our fellow broken Believers.

As disappointed I’ve been with the church, I agree with Sharp that we have no where else to turn except to Christianity. Clearly, there is a God. But beyond that, Christianity has the best explanation of the world around us. And with that truth, we must be thankful and willing to serve and be with the Body of Christ. Even those that may be shortsighted and faithless. Especially since if we’re honest with ourselves, we can also embrace those negative traits too at one time or another.


The LORD has a way of putting together broken things and making them objectively beautiful. We can think of the disciples, who couldn’t have been more different. I can’t imagine how frustrating it would have been to be with all of them. But there was a reason why each one was chosen to be a leader in the church, and somehow, the LORD just made it all work in His Providence.

I don’t remember which book CS Lewis had written this, but every person in our lives brings out something a little different in us. And when one isn’t there anymore (either through death or some other absence), that part of you stagnates and even dies. You’re not the same person anymore. But together, we have an incredible synergy that can honor the LORD in ways that we can’t even imagine.

I’m so thankful for that reminder. Yes, people can make our lives messy and difficult. They make us less efficient and can distract us from what we want to do (anyone around here have kids?). And we should all praise God that in His wisdom, He allows them into our lives. LORD, help us to be open handed with our time and talents. And give us enough faith to trust Your will in our lives, even when it may be hard to do so.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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