Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Book Review: Beth Moore's Get Out of That Pit

What's left of Christian bookstores provides many options for self-help books that read like fortune cookies accompanied by a tight smile and vacant eyes to greet you on the cover. I'm still not sure how people decide whether it's Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Max Lucado, or as I'm about to discuss Beth Moore, they want to inject them with short verses strung together to create a peppy theme. It seems quicker just to shake a Magic 8 Ball and let an answer surface to the top. Considering this book runs for $16.99, I think it's cheaper to buy the ball.

Provided Summary: From her first breath of fresh air beyond the pit, it has never been enough for Beth Moore to be free. This best-selling author and Bible teacher who has opened the riches of Scripture to millions of longs for you to be free as well—to know the Love and Presence that are better than life and the power of God’s Word that defies all darkness.

Beth’s journey out of the pit has been heart-rending. But from this and the poetic expressions of Psalm 40 has come the reward: a new song for her soul, given by her Saviour and offered to you in Get Out of That Pit—friend to friend. This is Beth’s most stirring message yet of the sheer hope, utter deliverance, and complete and glorious freedom of God.

Beth Moore covers all things "pit" in this book. Purposely in a pit, accidentally in a pit, shoved in a pit; you name it she has got you covered on pits. If you are tired of my usage of the word "pit" already, then imagine reading this book. The word is used so much it can distract you from what is being implied throughout the pages, which I'm sure wasn't directly the intention, but it harms whether intended or not. In giving people the gear to try to climb out of that pit it places the blame on some groups I find concerning such as the mentally ill, the disabled, and people with addictions. The problem with trying to write a book summed up in a little over 200 pages is that it doesn't give each sensitive issue its own focus. Addressing someone who has dealt with atrocities such as rape or murder is very different than addressing someone who is affected by a family member with a mental illness or has a child with a disability. Putting them in a list to address to the reader how they might be in a pit because of that person seems insensitive. Suggesting that disabled family members with disabilities put you in a pit is akin to being a victim of a crime is insensitive. Being a victim of abuse can hardly be the same as being the caretaker of a dependent loved one. Circumstances (a.k.a. "Pits") aren't one size fits all. Neither are the ways to provide advice.

Moore writes on page 25, "Like my family of origin, you can be thrown into a pit by a loved one suffering from mental illness. I cannot adequately voice the fear that can be incited by someone with serious bouts of irrational thinking." 

This is all the book states on dealing with mental illness, and it paints a negative portrait without any further story. Dealing with mental illness isn't easy for the person experiencing the illness and someone who loves them. I would know because I've dealt with a mental illness since the age of 6. It's never spoken that the person with the illness themselves can be thrown in a pit.

Is it possible for people to relate to the stories Moore gives? The majority of the stories she provides about herself is a trip to the cabin in the mountains, a Florida fishing trip, how she only stays in hotels because RVs can smell, and an awkward golf lesson with a friend. These are the examples she gives to make herself relatable. These examples are so unrelatable to the reality of what most people experience, particularly those in the "pits." She doesn't want you thinking the poor and rich experience the pain of the "pits" differently, but these examples don't help affirm we all mesh in the same pit. Nowhere does Moore mention how you climb out of the pit of worry you can't feed your family tomorrow, that your electricity is going to be cut off, or you can't afford the gas bill in the winter. Those aren't the pits that are unhealthy relationships or past demons you can't shake for a better tomorrow. It isn't addressed how you see the light at the top of the pit when you're in those situations.

It's true that everyone feels pain. Pain is pain no matter what causes it. What Moore says is dismissive of how individual experiencing pain is though. The book overall promotes a selfishness about oneself. The book provides such vague advice packed with Bible verses that you could draw any conclusions for yourself.

This book was provided by Handlebar Marketing in exchange for a review. 

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