Book Review: At One Ment: Growing To Knowing God

At One Ment:  Growing To Knowing God, by Jan Ellis

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/WestBow Press.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

Since I am going to have a lot to say about this book that is fiercely critical, I thought it would be worthwhile to give the positive aspects of this book first, as it is not without value and may in fact be pleasant to read for some audiences.  It is a bit of a surprise that this book was not published, given the fact that it has a lot of similarities with many other devotionals [1].  In fact, this book may be just a bit too long to print, given the fact that it would be somewhere in the range of 600 to 700 pages pretty easily as a printed book unless it was printed on large pages, which might not be worthwhile given the fact that the author is not famous enough to draw a lot of interest on her name alone.  I did not greatly enjoy this book, but I saw a lot in it that was fairly similar to many other devotionals, and those who like that sort of thing will probably like this sort of thing.

As might be expected, there is a great deal in this book that resembles other books of its kind.  The book is organized by day, providing one devotional per day that starts with a verse of the Bible, then provides a commentary on it that often includes either quotes by Oswald Chambers (who the author oddly calls Ozzie) or some other supposed Christian leader, including the widely overrated Max Lucado, or comments from the author’s own difficult personal experience, that is aimed at encouraging someone to have a better relationship with God.  I have dozens of these books on the hard drives of computers from kindle downloads or in boxes besides my bed, and this one has many of the same purposes as these other ones.  It is easy to see why a book like this is written–there are many authors, frequently women, who want to be considered as experts on the Bible and want to encourage others, and it is hard for women to write books that would be viewed with respect by many male readers.  As a result, many women write devotionals thinking they are doing their (usually female) audiences a favor by providing encouragement.  At least I think that is the theory behind there being so many books like this one.

Not that this book does not have plenty of its own shortfalls.  There are parts of this book that are simply almost impossible to endure or forgive as a reader.  The author has a terrible sense of puns, as is evident from the title.  Not having a great understanding of atonement, and certainly not having any interest in biblical law–although she does mention sin and obedience a lot–it cannot be expected that the author would go into a detailed discussion of the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement discussed in Leviticus 16 or the reality of the substitutionary offering of Jesus Christ for our own sins in the level of detail and depth that they would deserve, she contents herself to make the lame pun dividing atonement into at one ment.  This is representative of the book as a whole.  In addition to this, she has a fondness for equally lame acrostic poems, some of them especially forced, that fill the pages of this book.  If I were not already irritated enough by the author’s superficiality, by the fact that she was a broken women with ungodly practice and unbiblical beliefs that somehow fancied herself a spiritual guide for who knows what reason, the fact that she went about her efforts in writing a devotion in such a lame fashion would have made this book nearly impossible to enjoy on its own.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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3 Responses to Book Review: At One Ment: Growing To Knowing God

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Living The Spirit-Formed Life | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: From Out Of The Mouth Of Goats | Edge Induced Cohesion

  3. Pingback: Behind The Veil | Edge Induced Cohesion

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