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Paperback Girl Meets God: A Memoir Book

ISBN: 0812970802

ISBN13: 9780812970807

Girl Meets God: A Memoir

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Book Overview

Like most of us, Lauren Winner wants something to believe in. The child of a reform Jewish father and a lapsed Southern Baptist mother, she chose to become an Orthodox Jew. But as she faithfully... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Insightful and educational

This book was excellent, despite it's slightly cheesy title. Winner is smart, witty, and incredibly honest about her spiritual journey. I learned so much about Judaism, and definitely thought about my own Christian faith. This book is refreshing and thought-provoking in its honesty and intellectualism.

Page Turner

It is not often a person can say a religious book is a edge of chair page turner; BUT, Lauren's book was just that. I read it in three evenings, and quickley ordered her book Mudhouse Sabbath, and can't wait to read it. Lauren's religious "travel" from reformed Judaism to orthodox Judaism to Episcopalism was both insightful and thought provoking. I highly recommend this book if you are searching spiritally, or want to learn basic tenants of Judaism and christianity from a person who lived both.

Read this over a long weekend...

Read this book over a long weekend, or on a night before you'll be allowed to sleep in: I make that suggestion becuase I couldn't put Girl Meets God down. I began it at around 8 in the evening, and was still reading at 3 am!! Lauren Winner is on a spiritual search. Here we follow her to Memphis, New York, and England, in and out of synogogues and churhces, and finally to an Anglican chapel in Cambridge, England where she finds her spiritual home. She's not preachy, and doesn't insist that her way is the only way -- instead, she just invites us to come along on her journey. Many books I've read about Christianity make spiritual searching seem out of my reach -- this book resonated with me becuase I understood that the author was just a regular young woman, like you or me. If you liked Kathleen Norris's The Cloister Walk, you'll definitely enjoy Girl Meets God. Just don't read it if you have to get up early!

Mallocups for Lauren

I started the book with eagerness, got dismayed because it looked like another literary attempt to make Jesus cool, got hopeful with ex-boyfriends words "Being a Christian means being a pariah, Lauren, it means not fitting in anywhere in this world", and really did find the messiness of Jesus, not the coolness, in this book. You can't get more messy than when she wanted to correct one man's impression of her conversion to Christianity: "No, no, I'm not one of them. I'm one of you. I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, but I also wear fishnet stockings and drink single malt Scotch." I laughed hard at that, it delighted me and scared me, too, because I thought, here it comes, she's trying to make Jesus hip and cool...but she didn't. I loved it that her conversion wasn't tidy, still isn't. I love it that stuff did not get easy, but different. I did have an impression that it boiled down to a swapping of liturgy for liturgy, but then I discovered that wasn't a bad thing because books like these are making me see Jesus in those liturgies. Though I'm not familiar with Episcopalian rites, or many rites at all, I have been kicking around this idea of formal confession and I think Lauren, or God, is on to something. "Confess your sins that you may be healed", it says somewhere in James. That's huge. What really knocked me back is her forthrightness about the Holy Spirit, tongues and all. That's practically ..., and it delighted me. The only axe I'd grind is her very hip comment about the Mitford books and the Left Behind books. I haven't read any of them, but get unhappy when I see smart people roll their eyes at holy puzzle pieces. From Kushner, and I'll never stop quoting it: "Everyone carries with them at least one and probably many pieces to someone else's puzzle. Sometimes they know it. Sometimes they don't. And when you present your piece which is worthless to you, to another, whether you know it or not, whether they know it or not, you are a messenger from the Most High." I finished Lauren's book, took down At Home in Mitford from my shelf, and thought, wow. This was a puzzle piece. Left Behind stuff may be puzzle pieces. Girl Meets God is on the same plane, then, if it becomes a puzzle piece. A molecule short of holy.This was a glorious, to-be-shared puzzle piece. It's one of Those books for me, and Those are precious few. It's testimony, and ho, the power of testimony. Lauren has shown that Testimony is malleable and grows with you and is like salvation which happens every day in the life of the Believer. I hope she will ever see the trade-off, that for the giving of herself, the courageousness of holding out her testimony, she will receive a dazzling return. Way to go, Idaho. I'd share a pack of Mallocups with you, and this is unprecedented, would let you keep the points card. Even if it was fifty.

An evangelical mold-breaker

Lauren Winner is not your typical evangelical Christian (if there is such a thing as "typical" anyway). For one thing, the path that brought her to evangelical Christianity passes directly through orthodox Judaism. Therefore, her insights in comparing and contrasting Christianity and Judaism are extremely enlightening. Scholars have debated over the years about whether Christianity is a continuation (or "progression") of Judaism or whether it is a clean break, a radical departure, if you will. Lauren's experience indicates, in a sense, that it's both: to convert to Christianity she had to "divorce" herself from Judaism, yet her Jewish background vigorously informs her Christianity. For this reason, she chose to join the Episcopal church, since it's liturgy seemed to be more on the same wavelength as Jewish ritual. I found this aspect of the book to be the most educational, and hopefully Lauren will someday publish a scholarly evaluation of the Jewish/Christian dichotomy.The fact that she is a scholar, operating in the heady world of esoteric academia, and swam against the skeptical tide that seems to challenge faith at every turn, is quite admirable, almost remarkable in this day and age. Yet instrumental in her conversion was Jan Karon's unpretentious Mitford series, which helps bring Lauren's testimony within reach of the most humble seeker. (Just because I personally found the Mitford books unremittingly dull doesn't mean I don't appreciate the way the Spirit uses them to bring people to faith). Another way Lauren breaks the mold is the almost shocking openness with which she puts her life on display. That's not a unique thing among Christian authors (such as Anne Lamott), but it's rare if not unique among self-identified evangelicals. The personal quirks that may be off-putting to some (like her tattoos or her unshaven legs!) are endearing to others, and she's not afraid to share failures reluctantly whispered in a confessional with her readership, including the taboo area of sex. But part of the reward of reading a brutally honest spiritual autobiography is the feeling that you really get to know the author in a personal manner, even having never met her, which is why I continually refer to her in this review by her first name. I almost feel like a Lauren's personal friend and confidant, although we will probably never meet face-to-face.Lauren indeed breaks the mold, and there is enough here to offend almost everybody: Jew, Christian, conservative and liberal alike. But it is those who break the mold (C.S. Lewis, Simone Weil, and Thomas Merton, for just three examples) who have the most impact that lasts even beyond their lifetimes. This book is, hopefully, only the beginning volume in Lauren's spiritual autobiography. The world will hear a lot more from Lauren Winner in the future.
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