Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A River to Cross- a disappointment

A River to Cross by Yvonne Harris was a disappointment to me.  I love Christian historical romances, but this one fell flat.

The romance part was too modern.  While nothing immoral happens between Jake and Elizabeth, there is none of the old-fashioned propriety one expects in a love story set in the 1880's.  She even sleeps at his house unchaperoned.  Though this would not seem strange today, it seemed very out of place for the setting.

The romance was also to sappy.  The book made is seem as though everyone falls in love at first sight.  Elizabeth's first husband proposed in only a few days.  Jake proposed to a former fiance on the day he met her.  The two in the story seem "know" as soon as they look into each other's eyes, but at least wait some weeks to get engaged.  It seemed like the relationships were built solely on physical attraction. 

The story opens by introducing Elizabeth as a woman who has come to Texas to help care for her niece when the child's mother passed away.  Yet though the child is later orphaned she is barely mentioned throughout the rest of the story.  So why have the kid in the story at all?  Why not just say Elizabeth went to Texas to visit her brother?  It seemed like the whole niece/aunt angle was woefully underdeveloped.

The plot did not flow to me at all.  It seems like a whole section of the story (involving a beaver dam) served no purpose except to allow the couple to have another life threatening experience together.  The rest of the story seemed fairly disjointed as well.

Though I usually enjoy the books I am given to review by Bethany House, I can only give this book 2 stars.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Matthew 18 and Marriage

Many Christians are familiar with the following quote of Jesus' in Matthew 18.  But I have never heard of anyone using it in a marital situation.  My question is:  why not?

15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector."

My mom's friend (I'll call her Veronica) from church is going through a very terrible divorce.  Veronica's husband (I'll call him Bob) had numerous affairs over the past 30+ years.  Two of the most recent affairs have been with a woman in foreign country while on a mission trip and with a woman young enough to be his granddaughter.  Veronica has been keeping all of this a secret for years because she wanted to save her marriage and help her husband.  While this is admirable, I think she might have had more success in those regards if she had told a couple of fellow Christians years ago and had them confront Bob.  If Bob did not listen to the friends, then taking the issue to the church does not seem uncalled for.  Then this sin could not have been hidden and who knows how many woman could have been saved from Bob's clutches. 

Yet I have never heard of anyone applying Matthew 18 to marriage problems.  But surely Bob sinned against Veronica.  So why do we never discuss following this plan with adultery problems or gambling problems or abusive situations or addiction problems?