Author: Leonard Sweet
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Genre: Christian Living
Length: 210 pages
So reading this I realize why I rarely read Christian Living books. I pretty much disagree with most of them. Sometimes they are blatantly wrong, sometimes their nuances are misleading. Sure, I think it’s good to pick one up every now and then, but mostly I’d rather read The Bible, theology, or philosophy, rather than suffer through a water downed less than truthful version of God.
The story of the copy I have of this book is an interesting one, to me. My college room mate’s little sister had it first and her tiny little handwriting (that looks freakishly like my old roomie’s) is peppered throughout. That’s my favorite part about used books – the notes.
Mostly she’s witty… funny little quips from having actually worked at Starbucks creep onto the pages. Cutely reprimanding customers for their silly choice in drink, which I cutely got indignant over because some of those drinks are things I order, seep onto the pages and make my lip curl up. But sometimes she writes something spot on that is exactly what I’m thinking and embodies my entire personal view of this book:
“You can be grateful and enjoy the ‘experience’ but don’t place your walk’s ‘value’ on whether or not you had some ultimate experience.” – Hannah’s note on pg. 51
Indeed. At one point I scribbled a response that said, “Church becomes an entertainment fiasco… the Baptist equivalent of a Vegas Headliner.” Because the Gospel of Starbucks is experience, and Sweet implies over and over that we should be focused on our experience with God. Human beings are kind of crazy and moody… I don’t want my walk with God to be based on my personal experience and how I’m feeling that day. Instead, I’m sorry, but I think we should be focused on GOD… not how we feel so much. Feelings are fleeting. God is steady.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good stuff in here. I’d give it a 3 stars “I like it,” but I like it with a shrug. I think I mostly like it for the fun little notes in the margins that Sweet inspired out of previous readers. I like the coffee talk and the Picasso quotes. I like that Sweet encourages people to “live with a Grande passion,” I think living with passion is important. It’s the nuances that get me every time with a book I sort of don’t care for… all those tiny little nuances that leave an after taste. Kind of like Starbucks. I like Starbucks, I do. But everything just kind of tastes like Starbucks after awhile and I’m always eager to find that hole in the wall mom and pop coffee shop that stayed true to the basics. That goes for church too… teach me the word of God, end of story.
The best thing about Sweet’s gospel? It compliments my morning coffee. As it was a hand-me-down title, however, I plan to hand it down to someone else. It’s worth reading, but not a keeper.
A link to Hannah’s blog can be found in my right hand margin: Musings From the Tardis.
My old Roomie writes Coffee Cups in Trees.
But something to take a look at that is a much better view of the world and is quick and to the point is here: http://www.thinkingthroughchristianity.com/2013/08/let-there-be-coffee.html