A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.

I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

309. The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson with John & Elizabeth Sherrill

Sunday's Christian Book Review

The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson with John & Elizabeth Sherrill

Rating: (3.5/5)

(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)

1962, Jove Book/Penguin, 173 pgs

Age: 16+  

"A young preacher from the Pennsylvania hills comes to New York City and influences troubled teenagers with his inspirational message."

Purchased a secondhand copy from a book sale.

This is the inspiring autobiographical story of an evangelical minister's crusade to open a home for street, gang and drug involved teenagers of the late fifties and early sixties.  His ministry succeeded and became Teen Challenge which still exists today.  Wilkerson's story is touching and interesting especially from an historical view as to how these societal problems were first dealt with during this time period.  The language is dated with the overuse of the words "dope" and "addict"  also "Negro", the n-word and women's place in society but of course this all reflects the time period.  I also found Wilkerson's ability to pray to God at a moment's notice and receive immediate answers, within minutes, often in a room full of people to be quite, shall we say, over enthusiastic.  However, upon looking the man up, he also claimed later in life to have received prophetic visions ... so who am I to judge.  But I really did find laughable one chapter near the end where he spends the entire time explaining to a Jesuit priest what the Holy Spirit is.  I'm Catholic, and know the Jesuits have had their naysayers in recent decades, but really!  How anyone cannot know how important the Holy Spirit is to the Catholic faith, Confirmation anyone?, especially a priest is beyond ridiculous.  While I did not agree with much of the theology in the book, I appreciated the heart felt spirit and love of Christ behind it and did very much enjoy hearing the success story of the organization and many youths who have been helped because of the unending commitment of the author.  Interestingly my used copy contains a small slip of paper with a note hoping the recipient "enjoyed the Outreach Team that most recently visited your Church".  Signed "The Teen Challenge Farm" which my research shows would have been located in London, Ontario. Also, as a side note, Wilkerson only died a couple of years ago tragically, in a car accident, at the age of 80.

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