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New Book Releases – Week of 17 July 2023 – Amanda Held Opelt, more…

Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to each of the new book releases)


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*** Our Starred New Book of the Week:

<<<<<< Last Week’s Starred New Book

Holy Unhappiness: God, Goodness, and the Myth of the Blessed Life

Amanda Held Opelt

( Worthy Books )

Discover what it means to be blessed and challenge the false beliefs many in the church hold about “the good life” and what it means to walk in communion with God.

American Christians have developed a long list of expectations about what the life with God will feel like. Many Christians rightly deny the prosperity gospel—the idea that God wants you to be healthy and wealthy— but instead embrace its more subtle spin-off, the emotional prosperity gospel, or the belief that happiness and spiritual euphoria will inevitably follow if you believe all the right things and make all the right choices. In this view, frustration is deemed unholy, fear is seen as a failure of faith, and sadness is a sign of God’s disfavor.

In Holy Unhappiness, Amanda Held Opelt, author of A Hole in the World, grapples with her own experience of disillusionment when life with God didn’t always feel the way she expected it to feel. She examines some of the historic, religious, and cultural influences that led to the idolization of positive feelings and the marginalization of negative feelings. Unpacking nine elements of life that have been tainted by the message of the emotional Prosperity Gospel – including work, marriage, parenting, calling, community, and church – she points to a new path forward, one that reimagines what the “blessed” life can be like if we release some of our expectations and seek God in places we never thought to look.

This is a book that asks “what good is God?” when he doesn’t always make sorrow go away or soothe every fear. It is a book that explores our aversion to sadness and counts the costs of our unrelenting commitment to optimism. This is a book that insists there is holiness to be found even in our unhappiness.


***LISTEN to a podcast launch with the author of this book

 

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