Waiting For Heaven: Freedom From The Incurable Addiction To Self, by Larry Cribb
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Adams PR Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
In reading a book like this, one has to separate one’s feelings about the author’s own achievements according to his aims and purposes from what he is actually saying. And while there is a lot about the writer’s approach and lack of self-awareness that really grated on me when I was reading this book, at the same time there is still a lot to appreciate as well that I think is well worth keeping in mind. And that can be difficult to do, but in a case like this it is worthwhile because this is the sort of book that can so easily offend a reader because the author is talking about a subject that is intensely personal to all of us–our addiction to the self–and does so in a maladroit way that makes it all too easy for the reader to reject the writer as a hypocrite (which he is) rather than to take the worthwhile points that the author says to heart even if the author is unable or unwilling to do so.
This book is a bit more than 100 pages long and it is divided into three parts and fifteen chapters. The book begins with a foreword (misspelled as a forward in my copy), a prologue, an introduction, and a parable that are all designed to get the reader to think about how they think about themselves and about patience. After that the author talks about useful waiting (I), including self-addiction (1), Paul’s cry of the heart in Romans 7 (2), a categorization of Christians (3), Moses (4) and his waiting (5), as well as foolish choices (6). After that the author discusses the difficult waiting that believers are sometimes called upon to do (II), including the struggle for self-control (7), whether self-control is possible and what it depends on (8), the passions that strength the power to wait (9), a rather mystical view of the Trinity that helps the author to wait for heaven (10), and the power of a vision (11). After that the author discusses about powerful waiting (III), with chapters on the pathway (12), the power of choice (13), the author’s attempt to wrap up his book (14), and a discussion about the glory that is in Christ and not in ourselves (15), after which there is an afterword, acknowledgements, and notes.
Indeed, the hypocrisy of the author is instructive in that it demonstrates how hard it is to get out of our own way when we are trying to encourage moral growth and development in the other. The author claims not to judge before complacently dividing Christians up into three categories and telling “complacent” Christians that they are in the suburbs of Laodicea, which most people (myself included) would consider to be judging, to say nothing of his left-wing approach to social justice as being an aspect of godly relationality. Calling your potential reading audience potential racists would certainly qualify as being judgmental to most readers, I would suspect. And then the author demonstrates not only the usual obsession that readers have with their other writings but even an obsession with how long this book is getting because he did not plot it out effectively but draws attention to the chapters he adds beyond his expectations. Someone who is as concerned as the author is about himself and about his legitimacy as a writer has no business telling other people to be less focused on themselves. Physician, heal yourself. But if the author serves as an example of what not to be when trying to get over yourself, it can be of assistance still.