I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would. I love this CD and the idea behind it, and I love reading the stories in the CD booklet. I guess I just don't care so much about what Matthew West and Angela Thomas have to say about them (no offence...). The stories themselves are beautiful and I enjoyed those, as expected. The responses are sweet... just not what I'm interested in.
On a positive note, West quoted C.S. Lewis two or three times, if I recall correctly, so he gets points for that. :)
But I do want to talk about the chapter on homosexuality. My heart aches for the anonymous author of the letter who is trying so hard to honor God with his/her life despite the temptations s/he faces every day. For the most part, I thought Thomas' response was appropriate and kind-hearted, but there was one comment she made that seemed insensitive and condescending to me. She reminds this person that everyone is struggling along with him/her with their own personal temptations. A good thing to remember, of course. But in comparing them she says "Yours is homosexuality, mine might be insecurity, and the person in the pew next to me at church may struggle with temptations of pornography or drug addiction or rage."
Okay, insecurity can absolutely be a day-to-day struggle, but it is just not on the same level as homosexuality or the other examples. Anonymous has to daily ignore the overwhelming voices insisting that there's nothing wrong with homosexuality. In addition to resisting the temptation to act on his/her urges, s/he has to constantly remind him/herself that those voices are wrong, when it would be so much easier to allow him/herself to be accepted into that community (that includes Christians) and live an openly gay lifestyle. On the other hand, I don't think insecurity is even a sin. And there are so many voices speaking out about self-love these days, a person struggling with insecurity doesn't even really have to look for encouraging messages to find them.
Heck, Thomas isn't actually admitting that she struggles with insecurity. She says her temptation might be insecurity, which makes it sound like either she doesn't want to admit her actual struggle or she can't think of one. Basically, I think that Thomas should either have elaborated on that to make comparisons more apparent, or she should have left herself out of that completely. I don't mean to sound overly harsh. The rest of Thomas' response was nice. That one phrase just really stuck out to me and this is such a sensitive topic that I think that really should have been edited. Though, as much as I've just written about it, this phrase didn't affect my rating at all.
(Side note: I was also just confused when she referred to Anonymous as a man, when the letter didn't clarify. Maybe she made a guess based on handwriting?)