Strange Gods & Small Groups: A Match Made in…Heaven?

Strange Gods & Small Groups: A Match Made in…Heaven? February 9, 2015

I’m looking forward to using this book with my students this year. We belong to a very small English speaking group in our parish in Göteborg, Sweden. Two of my students have made their Confirmation already and two of them will be making it in the Spring. I think your book will be a huge asset to me and my class and help further our discussions and our learning.
— Sam E.


I am in the process of prepping my annual Suggestions for Lenten Readings, but on the advice of a few friends, I’m first going to bring up that book with study-guide, again.

I’m not doing it because I think it’s the greatest book in the world, but because — for reasons I cannot ascertain so I will ascribe to the Holy Spirit — I have been opening my email to find generous reviews and the most heartening notes from people, telling me that Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life has been a big hit with their local book club; that parish study groups are really enjoying working through the book and its study guide; that its become a part of their RCIA program and Confirmation instruction.

I read your book, Strange Gods this weekend. I plan to re-read it and it’s not leaving my shelf-it is a keeper. I don’t write particularly well (so bear with me) but I read a great deal of Catholic books and blogs. When I read a book that’s really had an impact on me, I do like to let that author know. I know your book came out some time ago. I read the reviews, read an excerpt. I could not bring myself to read it. I knew it would make me uncomfortable. I wasn’t ready to be uncomfortable. I picked it up this weekend — clearly meant to read it now. Many words come to mind to describe this book but the bottom line is it made me think-really think, like no other book has in a long time. I must re-read it.
– Colleen K.

It’s unimaginably gratifying to receive such great feedback on Strange Gods, and even on social media, where now and then I see my name tagged on a discussion of the book, either on Twitter or Facebook, with some very kind remarks.


For the record, I concur: Paul Thigpen’s Manual for Spiritual Warfare is quite possibly the must-have book of 2014, as the world seems every day to move more and more quickly into the power of its princes.

We had the privilege to read your book, Strange Gods this month for our Catholic women’s book club. It’s been a wonderful and thought-provoking read, especially to enlighten our consciences to all the subtle ways we easily fall into choosing false gods and putting them before our Heavenly Father. I really enjoyed reading it and identifying areas that I need to work on. :-)
Words cannot really describe how helpful those thoughts were. Truly a God moment when reading this.
— Carleen S.

I am working on some things to be published in our Church bulletin during Lent and I would like to include a few paragraphs from your book (exactly reprinted, context unchanged and properly cited, of course). One I know I want to use, is about why following the First Commandment renders the other commandments moot. It is very powerful and I think would resonate with my congregation.
– Judi C.

My Lenten Recommendations will hopefully be up later today, or tomorrow morning! In the meantime, let’s think about how important it is to keep the first of the Commandments in mind, particularly in Lent.

You write so powerfully and honestly about your struggles with your siblings. “Because I was secure in the truth, there was no reason for me to insist on being believed or accepted, validated or even loved: and besides, I couldn’t make anyone feel a thing they did not want to feel. When something is true, there is no point in arguing. We cannot make anyone believe anything, which is why I did not argue with my family and why God does not argue, plead, cajole or negotiate with us…I could not and would not trade reality for a polite fiction-inauthentic, but convenient for others.”
– CK

Just in time for 2016’s World Youth Day, in Krakow: Award-winning Strange Gods, now published in Polish.

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