What do I think of Brad Erlandson’s book published by Xulon Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Upfront, Brad is a friend of mine. He gave me his book free of charge as a gift and I wish to provide a fair review. I am going to try to avoid bias as best I can.
I have long had the opinion that if you had a good writer and director behind it, you could take the life of any person you meet on the street and turn it into a major motion picture and it would be a box office hit. People are fascinating and their stories are interesting.
Erlandson’s story is a common story about growing up in a family and actually being rebellious. Eventually, he finds his way to Jesus and from then on, his story is about his zeal to spread the gospel. Something about the book is that he goes regularly from autobiography to exhortation about how he thinks people ought to live.
In the last third of the book, he gets to the main part where he talks about being hit by a drunk driver and how he is now in a wheelchair as a result. He talks about his attitude toward the lady who hit him and how to view the disabled. He talks about his opinion on faith healing and how some pastors do go too far with this.
There are times I found myself disagreeing with some positions Erlandson gave in his book, but these are rightfully on secondary issues and Erlandson says he is fine with people having different opinions, which he knows from our personal discussions. He doesn’t deny that these issues should be discussed, but they should not be a point of disagreement. With this, I fully agree.
The book is also easy to read. There is not really difficult theology in there that people will not understand. There is a touch of apologetics involved. This is not just about the problem of evil, but other areas. Erlandson himself spent some time teaching apologetics at a church.
Sometimes, I did wish Erlandson would focus more on the crash. As I said, this showed up in the last third of the book. Perhaps it would have been good to have done it like it can be done in a TV show where you will get shown a scene of a later event and then the episode goes to show you how you got to that event.
I also did think sometimes Erlandson seemed to get distracted and spend more time with a story than I thought necessary. These stories could be interesting at the time, but then you’d move on and wonder what it has to do with the main story. Of course, the problem could lie with me.
Still, Erlandson’s story is a sad story and a happy one both. It is sad to think about the evil that he has gone through, but there is joy in seeing that he handles it and perseveres. Does he want to be healed? Of course, but he at the same time still lives and enjoys his life in the meanwhile. It is one thing for evil to happen to you in the past. It is one thing to stay in that and let it keep happening to you. As he says, you can get bitter or better. Erlandson has chosen better, and may it not be taken from him.