4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Such are the words of a church leader at that time when he chose to discuss a much-avoided topic amongst his congregation. Yet, the statement is not just a mere utterance. The person of that remark is a man of his word. He practices what he preaches. That man is Pastor Job, the protagonist in the book entitled Pastoring is not what you think by Elijah Oladimeji and published in 2018 by Yorkshire Publishing.It is in the process of living a life that is surrendered to God and His purpose that all other essentials of life such as good health, strength, peace, prosperity, good home, stable marriage, good job, security and so on, are added bonuses.
Pastor Job leads a life of unwavering faith and great candour. He shepherds his flock by example. It's through a way of living, which manifests the same beliefs he holds dear and proclaims incessantly. He trusts God even in the minutest portions of his personal choices and fervently prays for the same for his wife, his congregation, his peers, and all other people he interacts with. The book is a chronicle of his experiences, thoughts, preachings, as well as dreams (in both figurative and literal senses of the word).
The electronic file for this review has a total of 102 pages, 90 of which are main pages, and is a revised version of the author's 2017 work entitled Our Pastor Has Gone Mad Again published by Green Ivy Publishing. I consider it a step up from the original version enough to give it 4 out of 4 stars especially in view of the number of ways it creates a match between what's ideal for a piece and what it really is.
On its theme, it uniquely blends the loftiness of a religious man's convictions with their practical application. The protagonist does not profess mere unfounded pronouncements. Instead, he supports everything he states with exact quotations from the bible.
Its limited omniscient third-person point of view aptly captures Pastor Job's sleep-talk and self-talk. It is also a good mixture of plot-driven and character-driven storytelling, which presents the various turns of life-changing events as well as the gleanable or hidden turmoils, discourses, and transformative causes and effects on his psyche and corresponding actions.
The characters are very much realistic. There is no apparent claim that Pastor Job, despite his staunch stance and acclaimed high stature, is an infallible man as he has his own of human wants, propensities, and flaws just like the rest of us. I especially liked his quick wit and unexpected sense of humour. Lorraine is like any other wife who also longs for the usual first-world amenities of life. Their husband and wife conversations can really happen among couples. All the other characters are relatable and could be just any other person we know or meet in our own lives.
The numerous biblical passages quoted could be an editor or proofreader's nightmare that I couldn't help but remember one of our OnlineBookClub.org's Book of the Day entries entitled Why Do We Quote? by Ruth Finnegan on the infinitesimal reasons, ways, and standards for quotes. Yet, these passages provide the essential substance, relevance, and basis for the various sermons delivered. The layout and presentation of the quotes could have been made more consistent for ease of reading, but this is merely my personal preference and not necessarily technically wrong. There were a few errors I've noticed such as the following: missing quotation marks for the quoted bible passage in line 11 of page 4; an extra letter "s" in the proper noun "King James Bible(s)" in line 16 of page 4; a missing preposition "to" in line 1 of page 15; and, a missing direct object for the verb "make" in line 15 of page 25. However, said observations are merely trivial. The manuscript is not a disappointment; there were no glaring errors that marred its readability.
As I am a self-proclaimed, often-failing yet constantly-striving optimist, I also prayed while reading and waited for eventual rewards for Pastor Job's faithfulness amongst the many challenges that he and others encounter along the way. This isn't for those who are bothered by spiritual topics or are focussed on the differences between belief systems. I think this will appeal to those who, like me, prefer to have a break from the oftentimes mind-boggling and nerve-wracking bad news and tragedies. That respite could still involve knowing what's happening but also entails finding reasons to believe that there are solutions even for desperate situations. It is for those looking for stories of hope. Realists would consider these to be coincidences. Some would say they came from pure luck. A believer like me would refer to them as blessings or everyday miracles.
Pastoring is not what you think
View: on Bookshelves
Like Espie's review? Post a comment saying so!