Book Review: Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler (4 ½ *’s)

I recently finished reading the book/memoir of Jennifer Fulwiler entitled Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It. It basically tells the story of her life and her search for meaning and truth. She started out an atheist who was fairly anti-Christian and wound up at the end of the book, a convert to Catholicism. It started out okay, but, initially, I wasn’t overly impressed, partly because of the story (I’m not much into life stories, I don’t think), and partly because in the beginning of the book she (and her soon to be husband) was pro-choice and I’m pro-life. The pro-choice movement just rubs me the wrong way … but I don’t want this post to be a discussion of abortion. Anyway, by the end of the book she is so much into Catholic Doctrine she is actually defending the church’s stance on contraception and the book got more interesting the more I read.

I wasn’t so much interested in her life as I was in her discussions of the philosophical issues and problems that we all wrestle with. I particularly enjoyed her discussion of the analysis of hurricane Katrina. I’ve forgotten who (was it Pat Roberts?) but a famous Christian pastor said that hurricane Katrina was a punishment sent by God. That statement set off a huge controversy and massive discussion among Christians on the Internet. She became engrossed in the discussion and described both sides, going back and forth between the two sides which she endearingly called “Team God’s Wrath and Team God’s Love” (not that either she or I want to make light of Hurricane Katrina; it was a natural disaster with tragic consequences, and it is good to remember that). She sided with God’s Love (as do I, I think), but she had to admit that both sides had scriptural backing. This disparity which showed that reasonable people could disagree with how to interpret the Bible led her to the conclusion that there was more to Christianity than just the Bible and this realization ultimately led her to the Catholic Church. It turned into an intriguing read.

The book was well-written and easily understood. Mrs. Fulwiler has an excellent analytical mind and the book benefited from that fact. All-in-all it was a pretty good book.