[TLC Blog Tour&Review] A View From The Back Pew by Tim O’Donnell

Posted 18 March, 2011 by Molly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

About the Book:
Since the time Tim O’Donnell was a nuisance to the nuns, he has been asking questions about religion. He went on to become a successful owner of daily newspapers and consulting firms, but the questions remained. So at age forty, he sold his businesses, built a log home in the woods, and dove headfirst into the taboo questions of Christianity-not as a theologian but as an investigative reporter. The answers surprised him.A View from the Back Pew explores the issues we all encounter on our spiritual journey:
* Are spirituality and religion the same thing?
* Is guilt a necessary part of the religious experience?
* Do the rules of religion actually bring me closer to God?
* Will open-minded inquiry help or hinder my spiritual progress?
* Is God a concept? A reality? A Myth?
* Did God create man? Did man invent God?
* If mankind’s capacity to understand the world has advanced exponentially in the last two thousand years, shouldn’t our spiritual understanding be evolving too?
* And, perhaps most importantly, am I looking for God in the right places?
Candid, humorous, and at times controversial, O’Donnell takes us on a powerful search for balance-between faith and personal experience, between the roots of Christianity and later layers of doctrine, and between systems of belief and a direct connection to the spiritual presence we call God. In this bold quest for truth, you’ll delve into everything from the “mystery” of the Trinity and the Virgin Birth to celibacy in the priesthood to Jesus’ key teachings about “the kingdom” and the real purpose of prayer. “My hope,” writes O’Donnell, “is that if you are drawn to the Divine but labor over dogma, doctrine, and ritual, you will find support and a fresh perspective in my view from the back pew.”

About the Author:

Tim O’Donnell retired from the business world at the age of forty after a successful business career that saw him rise from advertising sales to corporate executive, to become a highly sought after consultant and speaker and ultimately buying his own suburban daily newspaper publishing company. He earned distinction as a publisher and consultant for the advances in management and operational systems he introduced as many of O’Donnell’s philosophies and methods became standards within the publishing world. He is considered by his clients and the industry at large as an agent of change.O’Donnell sold his company a
nd retreated for a time to the woods of Southeast Kansas to resume a quest for answers to questions that had been dogging him since his youth as a Catholic schoolboy in the suburbs of Chicago.Tim O’Donnell received the quintessential Catholic education, attending Catholic grade school, high school and college. He now says: “I’ve been pummeled by nuns, cajoled by priests and humored by serious theologians as I tried continuously to satisfy questions I’ve always had about my native religion.” His questions followed him to adulthood unanswered.Until now.Tim is married to Lynn, his wife of twenty-nine years. Tim and Lynn are the parents of three adult children who remain the center of their lives and doting owners of Blue and Bailey their dogs. They grew up in the Chicago area and currently make their home in Kansas City.
Connect with Tim on his website and on his blog.

My Review:
Upon reviewing this book, I gave it much debate about whether I truly, truly would read through this entire book. In the end, I gave in, because EVERY book, EVERY author, deserves a chance to have there book read. I had heard both good and bad things about O’Donnell’s book. Some loved it, others disliked it. Where do I fall in my thinking after reading this book? I fall somewhere in the middle, honestly. I am a Christian with my own beliefs and, like I wouldn’t want to be judged on what I believe, I can not judge O’Donnell on his beliefs and questions. Does this mean I agree with him when he makes questions about what is God and what is Christianity, and the like? I neither agree nor disagree because, quite frankly, those are HIS opinions and questions.
Now, all of that being said, did I find in the end that I liked this book? Well, I give it 3 stars. O’Donnell created a book based on his questions, on his beliefs, and turned out a product that someone who may have similar questions, will benefit from. While this book was not for me, I did enjoy finding out about a new author(who, by the way, DID add humorous events to the book!) and encourage those who have question to give O’Donnell’s book a try.
You can purchase your copy here.
Visit the other stops on this tour here.
*This book was provided for review by TLC Book Tours*

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