Sunday, January 13, 2013

Suprised by Oxford

(Originally Posted Saturday, October 8, 2011)


Suprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber

 An agnostic turned Christian...this is Surprised by Oxford.  Can God get through to even the most non-trusting of souls?  Is there such a thing in this world as a genuine Christian?  Does God really care? These are all questions that Carolyn Weber asked on her journey to discover her need for Christ.
Carolyn Weber is a beautiful writer.  I thoroughly enjoyed her wonderful use of language and her descriptive sense of style.  The people and places were so vividly described I could almost taste the scones and feel the cool British rain on my face.  This book was an absolute joy to read.  There were times when I almost could not put it down.  What a treat!
Her story is sadly one with which all too many people can relate.  Surprised by Oxford is the story of an absentee father, an emotionally and financially struggling mother, and a young girl who had hardened her heart to God and love.  I enjoyed experiencing God's sense of humor throughout this book as He used anything and everything to get Carolyn's attention - even street signs.  I appreciated how transparent she was when describing her difficulty in trusting Christians and God. 
 *There is a word used in the prologue that is considered strong language so be forewarned.  This is not used gratuitously but rather in the recounting of a conversation Carolyn had with a professor which shocked her enough that God was able to start getting her attention.
This book is a memoir.  An actual account of Carolyn's first year at Oxford University and for me, the most beautiful and inspiring part of this book was the realization that God only needs one moment from us to start seeking Him.  Just a moment.  A blink of the eye and He is there answering the questions, "Where are you?”  "Are you real?”  "Do you care?".  He does not need some cataclysmic event He just needs a split second of searching.  Carolyn's moment of searching began when she challenged by a professor to discern the real stuff from the garbage in this world began to take personal responsibility for finding the meaningful in a world full of meaninglessness.
I would recommend this book to both those who have found Christ and those who are searching for Him.  If you have found Christ then you will be encouraged by this memoir.  Encouraged that it isn't always the "right" words that get through to someone.  That real Christians living a real life can have an impact on those who are searching.  If you are searching for Him then be encouraged by Carolyn that you can ask God the hard questions and He not being offended will answer...sometimes in the most unconventional of ways. 


 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”