Nice People Rob God, by Althea Patrick
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/WestBow Press in exchange for an honest review.]
In all fairness to the author, I read this book somewhat looking for a fight, seeing that I expected the author to make a great deal of reference to tithing given the title, an expectation that was fulfilled beyond all expectations . In looking at the title of the book I was also curious as to whether the author would acknowledge her debt to C.S. Lewis’ masterful Mere Christianity in its contrast between nice people and new men transformed by their obedience to Jesus Christ, and in this expectation I was surprised to see that she had not acknowledged her considerable debt, making this book a somewhat unfortunate example of irony to the point of hypocrisy, in that the author herself over and over again castigates in immensely harsh terms those people she terms as “nice people,” some of whom are referred to as “you” and some as “they,” while herself robbing the proper credit and honor for the comparison she is making from a writer far more noble and talented than she herself is. Furthermore, and somewhat oddly, she considers her professional credentials as an RN, LNC, and MSN to give her a sort of expert capability to talk about areas of Christian mysticism and doctrine.
In looking at the contents of this book, there are a few comments that can be made. For one, the author seems to consider herself a competent authority to interpret her dreams as well as to present authoritative teaching on tithing as well as the supposed selfishness of other people. She is someone who, unfortunately, finds it all too easy to fall into a common human tendency to bash the way she used to be as a show of false humility in order to bash other people, whether the reader or those who are not reading the book. Strangely, at about halfway through the book, there is a drastic change in the tone of the book from attacking and argumentative to one where the author assumes, perhaps wrongly, that the reader is a friendly and sympathetic one. Then, after a book that is an uncomfortable mixture of flattery and invective, all of it marred by the author’s smarmy and offensive tone, the book ends with an imagined court scene in heaven that sounds very little like God and Jesus Christ and very much like the author is presumptuously speaking for God and Jesus Christ, something which calls for repentance on the part of the author.
It is entirely understandable that someone would want to be more than a nice person and to be a zealous defender of God’s ways. Unfortunately, the author does not appear to understand that in order for someone to be an effective speaker for God’s ways, they must themselves not be committing the same sin–namely theft–that they are so harshly accusing others of. In addition, the author fails to understand that while we are called to be more than nice people, but transformed people, renewed with a spiritual life that comes from God and Jesus Christ, we are certainly not called to be more unkind than “nice people” are. Being right on matters of doctrine–and it should be noted that the author’s defense of tithing and the need to be a generous giver are scriptural, even if the author’s implication that tithing and exceeding tithing will lead to an abundant life as a part of the prosperity gospel is worrisome heresy –does not excuse one for being wrong in one’s treatment of others. And this is an author who could use some more love for others. Nice people may rob God, but mean people write self-righteous books that only succeed in making themselves look uglier as sinners than those they are criticizing.
 See, for example:
 See, for example: