After reading Educated, I found myself really wrestling with some issues. Not only had the book wrecked me to see a child so mistreated, but it also upset me to see her worldview so warped against God.
After reading her book, I craved something happy, but not just anything good…I needed something true about Jesus. Enter Charles Martin’s book, What If It’s True?
What we often lose in translation when we read the Bible is the why of what was done. We don’t understand why David cut off a corner piece of Saul’s robe or why a sick woman would be an outcast in society. We miss the implied meaning in the actions of the Bible because we no longer live in a culture saturated with meaning the way our ancestors did.
In the past, cultures lived with constant reminders of where they came from. These reminders were in monuments and walls you passed by every day. They were talked about in stories in school and reinforced in lessons at home. They were mentioned in required prayers prayed throughout the day. They were even echoed in the choices made concerning clothing. You might forget the details, but you couldn’t escaping the lessons of the past.
Today, we live our lives in perpetual motion. We protest reminders of the past and treat each day like it isn’t moving forward fast enough. We don’t care to look backwards at the tracks we are leaving. If something happened twenty years ago, we think it is old school or vintage. We don’t dare to dig back any further than that, so we lose the power of knowing where we came from and what, exactly, is influencing our world.
In this book, Martin writes like a millennial who has taken his face out of a phone long enough to speak plainly about the Bible. Yes, I realize as I am saying this that Martin is older than me and probably more of the Gen-X generation, but he doesn’t write like one. His words are fresh and modern; they reveal the humanity of the moment in translation to a language that can be relevantly read today.
Martin says this book is, in short, for broken people to find freedom. After reading Educated, I desperately wanted Tara to have this book. I wanted her to have this book because no matter how much we may free ourselves from the tyranny of others, we cannot free ourselves of the scars it leaves on our hearts. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can heal those kinds of wounds.
I hope that someone tells Tara about the true Jesus Christ–not the lies she was told. If you found yourself identifying with Tara’s story, I hope you will read this book too and start the journey of getting to know Jesus. This book is not a substitute for the raw material of God’s Word, the Bible, but it does do a fair job of bridging the gap of understanding between us and it. I hope you will read it.