Monday, July 13, 2009

Book Review: Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl

I did not enjoy reading Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl—at all. I usually try to find something nice to say when I review a book, even if I haven’t particularly cared for it, but this book was offensive to me.

N.D. Wilson is obviously highly intelligent and well-educated. He’s a deep thinker with a gift for word-crafting. (There, I said something nice.) Unfortunately, he seems obsessed with what’s morbid, distasteful, nasty, and gross. (And I was absolutely shocked to be assaulted by his use of the s-word in a Thomas Nelson book—with no good or even potentially justifiable reason. He just felt like writing it and did, and Thomas Nelson let him get away with it.)

Wilson uses illustrations from science and nature to prove God’s existence, explain the existence of evil, and explore other religious/philosophical ideas. His arguments are on-target, well-written, and intriguing, but are lost in the shock of the disgusting examples he chooses. Instead of walking away from the book thinking, “Our God is so awesome!”—which I think Wilson had hoped his readers would, I left it thinking, “That was just so gross!”

I’d like to see Wilson write more. If he cleans up his act, he has a lot of potential. But I think I’ll be afraid to trust another book by him. It’ll have to get a raving review from another bold soul before I do.

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