Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Review: Patsy Clairmont’s Kaleidoscope

Women of Faith speaker Patsy Clairmont’s newest book stands out on the shelf with its vibrant cover and intriguing title--Kaleidoscope: Seeing God’s Wit and Wisdom in a Whole New Light. The text, itself, explores Proverbs, an oft-ignored book of the Bible.

Thirty devotional chapters adhere to an easy-to-understand structure intended for the personal or group setting. Each chapter begins with a verse from Proverbs and is followed by a short devotional, a series of questions to help readers personalize the chapter’s opening Proverb, and then a list of several Scriptures on the same topic for additional thought.

I decided to review this book because the back cover asked a question I have long had—“how can we make sense of all the disjointed pieces” in the book of Proverbs. Although I expected this question to be the main focus of the book, I was disappointed to find only Clairmont’s first and last chapters addressed it; the rest of the book appears to be a selection of thirty random verses from Proverbs that she seeks to help us understand.

As always, Clairmont is very funny. From the other reviews I’ve read, most women liked the book. Yet, I found many of the chapters spent the bulk of the text developing a funny story only to all-too-rapidly conclude with little effort to tie back in to the Scripture being examined. In many cases, I had to keep turning back to the actual Proverb and reminding myself what verse I was supposed to be understanding. That is my main criticism, that the focus seemed to be less on Scripture and more on Clairmont's witty turns of phrase.

With that said, the first and last chapters were my favorite. Clairmont states that we need to seek to understand the book of Proverbs (and God in general) like we view images through a kaleidoscope—with the knowledge that the wisdom we will receive is endless as the light of God hits a verse in different ways. This concept was precious to me, not just in relation to the book of Proverbs, but to my understanding of Scripture in general.

* I receive nothing for my review except for a complementary copy of the book from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE Patsy Clairmont! Thanks for letting me know - I'll have to check out her new book.