Thursday, April 25, 2013

Orthodox Thursday: Born to Hate Reborn to Love

Today, is the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist. He has a special place in my heart, so today I am bringing back a neglected segment on this blog...Orthodox Thursday! I apologize to my audience who missed this section, but there just aren't a lot of Orthodox publishers out there, and the few there are don't send review copies out to bloggers. I would like to thank Mount Thabor Publishing for sending me two of their books to review.

Born to Hate Reborn to Love is the spiritual autobiography of Klaus Kenneth. The book starts off with Mr. Kenneth explaining where his hatred came from. His relationship with his mother can best be described as emotionally abusive. Then, a priest sexually abused him for seven years. One could argue that there is no wonder he developed a hatred for both Christianity and humanity in general. That's not to say that all priests perform such acts -- far from it! However, a tragedy like the one that occurred to Mr. Kenneth can definitely scar a person and make them question Christianity, because a priest is supposed to be someone you can trust.

We then follow Mr. Kenneth through a whirlwind of spiritual seeking. Demonic arts in Mexico, Transcendental Meditation in Hamburg, and Hinduism in India were just some of the escapes from Western Civilization and Christianity that Mr. Kenneth explored in hopes of finding power. I could definitely feel the frenetic searching for something more in his words, but I believe he elaborated on his darker moments a little too much. I understand that he was trying to make his life an open book, but some of his experiences of power that he gained from Satan could serve as a temptation to readers. Eventually, Mr. Kenneth made right with God and we learn that he ultimately became an Orthodox Christian.

The most amazing parts of the book to me were his talks with Blessed Mother Teresa and Elder Sophrony. These are two of the great spiritual giants, one Catholic and one Orthodox, and he got to have extended conversations with each of them! In fact, it was under the guidance and prayers of Elder Sophrony that this version of his book came to be published, as opposed to the original onein which the author feels he glorified his old adventures and built a shrine to his ego. It is truly amazing to have someone that wise and close to God, looking over you and praying for you.

Overall, I would give this book 4 out 5 stars. The author's story is a story of hope, hope that no matter how far away we run from God, He will always be there with open arms to welcome us home. In this book, you will run the gamut of emotions both with the author and toward the author. You will experience sorrow at his tragedies, frustrations at his repeated poor decisions, and elation when he finally figures it all out and realizes that Jesus is the answer to all the questions in this life. This was truly a tale of a sinner's redemption, and I guarantee there was a huge party in Heaven when Klaus Kenneth joined the flock!

If you found this review helpful, please click the link and hit Yes.