Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book Review: Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven

The book club that I am in just finished reading the book "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven But Nobody Wants to Die or (the eschatology of bluegrass)" by David Crowder and Mike Hogan.

What a title! What a book! This is a great read, not at all what I expected before I read it, but it was a great book and I would recommend it.

To me, this book was like 4 small books all mixed together into one book that tackles the subject of loss, grief, suffering and how we can deal with death and tragedy. Those 4 books are shuffled together and then they add in an "IM" or instant messenger section that contains dialog between the two authors. They write in such a way that even though they are tackeling some pretty heavy subject matter they are able to keep it light with humor. They wrote this book shortly after the death of their friend and pastor, Kyle Lake. I think, this was their way of sorting through the grief and pain and coping with the loss of a close friend.

First, they tackle the subject of the soul and dig into the history of the soul. Throughout the years people have tried to discover scientifically if the soul exists. What is the soul, where is the soul, where does the soul go? All these questions that science has yet to prove one way or another. Despite all of this, the authors argue that even though science can't prove there is a soul, there is no denying that when you are standing next to the casket of a friend or loved one, there is definately something missing.

Second, they tackle the subject of the history bluegrass music. How the music came to America from Scotland and into the Appilation Hills to the backwoods. They discussed how bluegrass, in a way, expresses the feelings of grief and sadness but also looks to what could be and has themes of hope and joy.
Third, they tackle grief and loss and how we as people share, express and deal with those emotions. Often times we push those feelings dow or hide them, but they are emotions that we will all deal with. If we are in relationships, at some point we will all face death. They discuss how, like bluegrass, even though there is pain and sadness, it helps to remember the good times and the joy that was shared. Often times we get together in groups and share stories and how good that is for our souls to heal and share with one another.

Lastly, there is a section of the book called "Columns", at first I was so confused by this section, but as they unfolded I realized that they were a metaphor for the Gospel and how Jesus came to bear the weight of the world and to save us from our sins. Once we got all the pieces sorted out, I went back and reread this section and loved it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I really like how open and honest they were with the feelings and emotions that they processed through grief and loss of thier friend. It was a good reminder that we don't need and shouldn't rush through the healing process. It is even more essential to have a community of friends and family around during those times.

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