"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

Marilyn Meberg, “Constantly Craving” Review

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From the publisher,

“Our cravings are written into our DNA. They’re influenced by our childhood experiences. They’re driving the choices we make as adults. And often, they’re keeping us hungry. Never satisfied. Ever searching.

What do they mean? What are we to do with them? Should we feel guilty? Are there solutions?

Counselor and author Marilyn Meberg knows all about cravings. She also knows the One who knit us together, desires and all. With wit and compassion, Marilyn helps us understand our appetites, offers advice for managing them here on earth, and encourages us to eagerly await the day when we will find total satisfaction in heaven.

In the meantime, Constantly Craving is an excellent reminder that our desires for more can lead us to the One we really need, the only One who will quench our thirst forever. Really? Really!”

This was an enjoyable read, not at all academic, but full of humour and light illustrations.  It is not the usual style of book that I read, but I’m probably not in the midst of the target demographic for readship.  Ms Meberg provides us a look at the constant craving of this world, and reframes that yearning that we all experience (suffer under?) in terms of Christian faith.  That is, faith in Christ serves to re-orient that craving into a Godly direction.

My one critique has to do with the lack of Scriptural references.  There are a ton of deep faith concepts employed in the text, and some references to Scripture, but few overt references.  It would have been nice to have some footnotes citing particular Bible verses that were being used directly or conceptually in the text.  I found at times I would think…I’ve read that somewhere in the Bible…and then would have to spend some time online searching down the reference.  This is not a huge point and probably has something to do with the target population for the book (and not someone like me, who is always looking for sermon illustrations). 

She also has a tendency to devolve into pop psychology that I found somewhat off-putting…our search for a marriage partner (as men) is to find someone that brings us back to our mommy.  The lack of Scriptural reference means that she missed several opportunities to talk about why we crave relationship, not in terms of pop psychology, but in terms of relationship bringing back to us a completeness that is only realized in the meeting of man and woman (because that’s the way God created us).  I could get upset about this, because it speaks to quite poor theology, but I suspect it is more her approach to her audience (and her lack of formal training in theology).  We yearn for relationship, because in relationship we find an aspect of the completeness, the wholeness of God.  Our brokeness means those relationships sometimes seek to fill in wounding (so I want to marry my mommy), but that is not what God has planned for us, which is wholeness.

The style of writing is conversational, and I’m sure if you had seen one of Ms Meberg’s public presentations that her particular style is reflected in the writing.  It’s the type of book you can sit and read over a cup of tea, enjoy and not realize that there are some true gems of Christian thought contained within.  For example, Chapter 6, Hungry for Happiness, talks about the difference between happiness and contentedness – which beautifully sits with Paul’s message throughout 1 and 2 Corinthians.  Why is Paul content even in a shipwreck?  Because he is an ambassador for Christ, and judges by the inner musings of the heart, versus the world’s focus on the outward appearance.  I just would have preferred that Scripture to be a bit more overt.  That said, the subtle approach will probably draw in readers who would not look at a book that had (2 Cor 5:17) every second verse.

I enjoyed the book.  I will lend it to some of my friends who wrestle with such questions – why do I never receive that which I desire so deeply?  I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to better understand the question of how this world differs from the new creation in Christ.  I would include with that recommendation a hearty caution to not take the worldly, psychological parts of the book too seriously.

(www.booksneeze.com gave me a free copy of this book for an honest review)

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Written by sameo416

July 14, 2012 at 8:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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