“O” God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah’s Spirituality by Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett

October 7, 2009 | By | Add a Comment

What if the life that we pursue
Came from a hunger for the truth?
What if the family turned to Jesus
Stopped asking Oprah what to do?

– Casting Crowns

Reading this book, I was immediately struck with a sense of guilt.  At one point, Dave and I were housemates.  Long before it was published, I was asked to take a look and provide some feedback.  I never got around to it.  On page 7, I read the acknowledgments and saw the names of some of my friends.  I’m not sure if you fully comprehend what is going on here.  Basically, I could have been in the acknowledgments.  Do you copy?  In case you don’t, let me say it again but this time with ellipses, exclamation marks and large letters: I… COULD… HAVE… BEEN… IN… THE… AC-KNOWL-EDGE-MENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Poop.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me provide some background.  Remember the post, where I talk about meeting a guy named Dave?  Remember reading about that book he was writing?  What? You don’t remember any of this?  Of course you don’t remember any of this.  You don’t even remember what you had for breakfast this morning.  What? You didn’t eat breakfast this morning?  You really should work on that.  Get yourself checked out.  I dunno, do something about it.  Make a change.

Just so you think I’m cool by association, let me give you some background on Dave.  At 6’7″, he is taller than I am.  His High School – Oak Hills Academy in Virginia – has, at one time or another, included the likes of NBA studs Carmelo Anthony, Michael Beasley, Kevin Durant, Josh Smith and Rajon Rondo.  They even won the National Championship the year Dave played.

Dave teamed up with Josh McDowell to write a book about truth and Oprah’s spirituality.  McDowell is a prolific author and apologist.  He’s written over a hundred books including the hit More Than a Carpenter.  I actually own about 6 of his books and even read one of them.  Aren’t you proud of me?  Regardless, I am proud of myself.  Anyway, this book came out yesterday.  Do you see how cool and relevant the timing of this review is?

Okay, that is enough about me.  Let’s get to the book.  One of my favorite parts is about a girl named “Maria” who can’t lay off the brownies.  God bless you, Maria.  You are a woman after my own stomach.  Whoops!  This wasn’t supposed to be about me.  Okay, okay.  Let’s be serious now.  What is cool and relevant is actually this book.

I don’t know if you realize this, but Oprah is huge (and I’m not talking about her ability or inability to lay off the brownies).  She is influential.  She has a book club.  She has done a great deal of good for humanity.  I could go on in describing Oprah, but I’m guessing you’ve heard of her.  So, I will turn my attention to the book instead.

First off, this book isn’t going to make Oprah’s book club.  The reason is that it challenges the teachings of Oprah and her friends.  It does so, however, in a respectful way.  The book is only 128 pages (including discussion questions at the back) and breaks down complex questions in an enjoyable and easy to understand manner.

Through fictional conversations amongst female graduate students, the book tackles questions such as:

  • Why worship a jealous God?
  • Is there one or many paths to God?
  • How can open-mindedness lead to another type of exclusivism?
  • How to recognize and address self-defeating statements (i.e. “People can’t know any truth about reality.” – How can you know this?  “People shouldn’t be imposing their beliefs on others.” – Isn’t that a belief?  “Judge not!” – Isn’t that a judgment?  “I can’t stand intolerant people.” – You are intolerant of intolerant people?)
  • How can the truth be known?
  • What might the Apostle Paul say about the book The Secret?
  • Is God a part of us or different?
  • Is there such a thing as right and wrong?
  • Is “Let it Rain” or “I Could Sing of your Love Forever” the most obnoxious Christian worship song of all time?  (This is not in the book.  This is a joke.)
  • Do we have any evidence for an afterlife?
  • Will the real historical Jesus please stand up?

Overall, I got into this book more and more as it went along.  It is written in a spirit of love and presents some excellent rebuttals to the teachings of popular spiritual leaders of our day.  The characters are easy to relate to and the book is current.  There are also many excellent quotations from other sources.  Rather than straight-up apologetics, the conversational dialogue makes the material much easier to digest and I was drawn in by the characters and the story.  I learned new things and other material was presented in a unique and fascinating way.

I liked this book.  Regardless of what you think or how you feel about Oprah, it is worth checking out what McDowell and Sterrett have to say.  The book was a great idea and the authors follow through with good execution.

Rating: N/A (Given the circumstances, it is impossible for me to give an unbiased review.)

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. John 4:23

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

If you would like to learn more about Dave and what he is up to, visit his website at: http://davesterrett.com

This book was provided for review by WND Books.  To purchase this book on Amazon, click here.

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