God Can't Sleep

God Can’t Sleep: Waiting for Daylight on Life’s Dark Nights. Palmer Chinchen. David C. Cook, $12.99 paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-4347-0057-5 Former missionary kid in Liberia, pastor in Arizona and author of True Religion writes an all-in book about life lived full-on. But getting there is not with chirpy preacher stories but deeply moving international stories from Haiti to Liberia.

To illustrate how God uses our wounds to change the lives of others he tells the story of Sam Weah, a pastor in Côte d'Ivoire who was stripped and beaten at a border crossing and robbed but then returned to the same soldiers station the next week for a Bible study where many of the men committed their lives to Christ.

Most moving section on heaven I’ve read to date, interweaving the little Scripture has to say about heaven with God’s “snapshots” of heaven on earth. Really good writing is backed up with life experience. Brutally honest, sometimes strident, and perhaps short of confessional, this is a fresh voice that is as good as Rob Bell’s or Donald Miller’s but a cut above theologically and has more authentic global stories to boot.

When a reader finishes, she may have a hard time understanding what the book was really about, but neither does the reader of Anne Lamott--but that doesn’t mean the book wasn’t fabulous and quickly recommended to a friend. I would say this is the next Blue Like Jazz, but this book is better. --Reviewed by Greg Taylor