Cover Image: Re\entry

Re\entry

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Member Reviews

Does it happen to you as well? March has come and in the midst of the bleakness of winter, suddenly a sunny spell changes your whole environment and outlook on life. Spring is coming! But then, with sudden force, winter launches its counterattack and it seems colder than ever before. Gone are the joy and hope you felt yesterday as a simmering depression seems to overtake your soul and society.

Such are the transitions in life – they might bring hope but can hit us unexpectedly as well. This book is a pastoral approach to help Christians manage transitions well. 

As an overarching metaphor for this book author Josh Ross decided to travel to the northernmost town in the US, Barrow, in Alaska, and learn about this phenomenon himself. The pastor (we will get to know him and his life and church better as the book proceeds) wanted to understand why the return of light after the dark winter months actually seems to make life harder – initially at least. 

I’ve never listened to one of his sermons, but I imagine Ross preaches as he writes: as an engaging storyteller who dishes up one example after another. You won’t fall asleep during one of his sermons! This keeps the book engaging, but at times it felt like too much to me. Ross notes how the life with Christ is about movement, with twists, turns, speed bumps and obstacles along the road. However, I felt Ross is taking his readers on such a meandering route that I started to get lost in the book itself. I stopped counting the tales about the specifics of the cars he has owned and his experiences while crisscrossing the country. Examples that serve to make a point, but more often than not distracted me. [It might be telling that one of the highlights for me was encountering Ross as a white evangelical pastor of an increasingly multicultural neighborhood, who struggles with the “huge chasm” between church and culture in the age of Trump.]

Ross was onto something when he decided to visit Barrow and he had a couple of neat experiences there. However, he is able to share so many other encounters out of his evidently fast-paced life, that I felt the Barrow-experience became somewhat buried under all the other examples – both from the bible and his own life. 

If you find yourself in transition this book could be a good companion and will help you feel you’re not alone on that journey as he is able to ‘normalize’ the struggles of life. It gives sound advice: on the importance of establishing roots, healthy rhythms and being part of community. It helps you imagining what a blessing you could be once you have reentered society after a hard life experience. However, you will have to be willing to go on a meandering journey yourself and doing the hard work of distilling the nuggets of empathy, biblical insight and practical advice that will speak to you and your situation.

I received a free digital copy of this book through Netgalley for an honest and independent review.
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"Are we raising our kids to be Christmas trees or fruit trees?"

This quote was too funny without the context, so that's what I'm starting my review with. Don't worry, it made more sense in context. 

I liked the premise and also the style of writing. Barrow is a very interesting place and I enjoyed reading about the author's experiences there as well as the ideas and inspirations that he took from there. Those parts of the book were really interesting and I would have loved to read more about it. 

As the author explains the need for roots and talks about roots and rythm in faith, he also gives many examples from his personal life, his career as a pastor and his current church. I enjoyed these parts, too. It was easy to follow his thoughts and explanations and interpretations of Scripture. 

However, at times it felt as though I was reading two books in one: one about Barrow and one about his personal life. Because both parts were very good, this does not influence my rating very much, but maybe two seperate books would have been better. From the blurb, I expected there to be more about Barrow. 

I have also noticed that Josh Ross seems to be a more liberal pastor. He did mention homosexuality once, but did not condemn it and also shows sympathy for the Black Lives Matter movement. I have read many Christian books that are critical of homosexuality and other things, if not completely rejecting it and I can imagine that this has kept some people from reading Christian books... You don't need to worry with this one. But homosexuality and social justice are not the main topics of this book, they just happen to be mentioned, so if you're rather conservative , this should not stop you from reading this book. 

So I would recommend this book to anyone who's interested in how life is in Barrow and how reentry with God is possible.
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I really liked this book! Such a relevant topic, and one that we all deal with in life. How to come back from those dark seasons in life? Often its not the hardships that we struggle with, but rather its the part where we come back to the light that we find so difficult.
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A great reminder that God is good, and promises to never leave us, even in the darkest of times.
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A very very interesting book! I found it really interesting to see how life really is in a place that experiences over sixty-five days of darkness every winter. And it gets more interesting when it actually applied to our life. 
Beautifully written and explained. Totally recommended this book!
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Thank you so much to netgalley for sending me an ARc copy of Re/Entry by Josh Ross. Re/Entry  Will be released on September 12, 2017. 

"I think im at my worst as a christian when i get stuck in traffic" I cannot agree more.
This book made me feel like i was having a conversation with an old friend catching up on life, relationships and religion. 

Ross talked about difficult and simple life topics and how he deals with problems. It was motivating and entertaining to read. It also didnt feel like he was shoving God down your throat like some christian books do. I really enjoyed how he discussed God and his beliefs throughout the book.
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