Genre: Christian living, faith, travel
Rating: 5 Stars
This review was first posted @ The Christian Manifesto.
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In Search of Deep Faith, is a fascinating blend of spiritual biography, travel diary, and history of the Christian faithful in Europe. Author Jim Belcher, made a life-altering decision to take his family on a historical tour of Europe, with the intention of studying Christian “pilgrims”. Their discovery taught what it truly meant to live in the fullness of Christ's Spirit. The first stop in their year long journey is Oxford, England. Oxford, home to Oxford University, and a perfect place to study Thomas Cranmer. In the 1500s, Thomas Cranmer, had been Archbishop of Canterbury, and he took part in a failed plot against the Catholic Queen, Mary Tudor. Mary wanted England to be Roman Catholic, as it once had been: however, the English Reformation movement had began in England, and they did not want to go back to spiritual darkness and Biblical illiteracy. In pondering the “pilgrims” of the Christian faith and how they responded during a time of crisis. Belcher wondered if his children would persevere in the Christian faith; in addition, were his children prepared to defend their faith in Christ Jesus, or would they slip away as so many young adults have done. Belcher and family traveled through: France, Holland, Poland, Austria, Germany; studying the lives of: C. S. Lewis, William Wilberforce, Vincent Van Gogh, Corrie ten Boom, Andre Trocme, Maria von Trapp, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
As the Belcher family traveled through Europe, it was as if I journeyed with them. In seeing historical places of interest (through their eyes), but in the ability to soak in teachable moments alongside the Belcher family. I felt apart of the story, and an investment in the outcome.
Jim Belcher, is an observant and insightful person. He is in-tuned to the the Spirit's leading, and promptings, not looking at them as an interruption, but as a priceless permeating moment.
Belcher shared both sides of the historical faithful. To only see positive aspects from Christian's, make it difficult to identify with or accept with seriousness. Humans fail. Heroic people are not always heroic.
Belcher wrote, “sin does not define us”. Through the faithful I am reminded, even though they made wrong choices, they dusted themselves off and continued in the faith, their eyes on Jesus Christ and not looking back on their failure.
Belcher is candid in the struggles of traveling with four children. Homeschooling and keeping the children occupied and diligent is a struggle. He is quick to admire his wife in her tenacity and perseverance.
In Search Of Deep Faith, is a candid and intimate look at a specific family while traveling through Europe searching for deeper faith, and also a sharp observation of the faithful “pilgrims” who've lived for Jesus Christ no matter the cost.