Book Notice: “Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal: A Boy, Cancer, and God”

I find myself choking back tears as I read these introductory comments in Michael Kelly’s new book:

… I tried to keep a two-year-old preoccupied in the prison-cell-sized examination room. We played with trucks. Then we played with a lot of medical instruments that I’m sure we weren’t supposed to touch. Joshua ate one strip of his sandwich. Then the doctor came back. He sat across from me. Looking at him, I subconsciously held my breath. My heart started beating in my head. Why was I nervous? We had been to the doctor before. But something was different this time. Then he started saying words that I never expected to hear: ‘hematology,’ ‘children’s hospital,’ ‘call your wife.’ Then he said the word that would become part of our everyday vocabulary at heartbreaking speed: leukemia (pp. 5-6).

This is the beginning of the journey of doubt and faith described by Michael Kelly in Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal: A Boy Cancer, and God (B&H, 2012). Wednesdays were pretty normal, writes Michael Kelley (Director of Discipleship at Lifeway Christian Resources), until that one Wednesday when the diagnosis came. Kelley found himself looking for a bright spot amidst the chemotherapy routine brought on by his two-year-old son Joshua’s cancer. The book offers substantive fare for readers who are tired of prescriptive spirituality and would rather work through the difficulties of faith with brutal honesty. It also offers the reader a glimpse into the “dark night of the soul” that others may be experiencing as they undergo ordeals similar to the one described in this book. Worth the read.

On the Health Benefits of Alcohol

Regular readers of BtT know that Southeastern Seminary disallows the use of alcohol as a beverage, arguing that although Scripture does not universally prohibit alcohol consumption, wisdom compels me to set forth this policy for our faculty and students. (See my blog on “The Case for Alcohol Abstinence.”) On Tuesday, an article in the Wall Street Journal caught my attention, and I thought I’d pass it along to our readership. It addresses recent research on the health benefits of alcohol. You might be surprised by what you find.

Matt Chandler’s Testimony in the Midst of Cancer

Eric Gorski of the Associated Press has written an excellent article on Matt Chandler titled “Brain Cancer Tests a Young Pastor’s Faith.” The article has been reprinted in a number of major media outlets (our link will take you to MSNBC). We would urge you to read about how one young Southern Baptist pastor is responding in a gospel-centered way to his cancer; he is a role model for all of us. We would also encourage you to join us in praying that God would heal Matt.