1 Star: Cruel Harvest by Fran Elizabeth Grubb

You will need a strong stomach to make it through this book. This memoir is a rated-r book that re-lives the horrifying tale of one man's descructive behavior on his family. It is a horror story of brutality: a detailed and sickening account of one man beating countless women into lifeless bloody messes on a daily basis, raping his own daughters night after night, murdering his newborn daughter and living a lawless, angry, power-hungry life as an unstoppable devil. The detail in this book will horrify you. And knowing it is a memoir will horrify you more.

I can handle horror movies easily, but after reading this book I was left feeling dirty and sick to my stomach. This was the most unpleasant book I've ever read. The only movie more unpleasant than this book that I've seen was "Boys Don't Cry" with a brutal rape scene. My usual peaceful dreams were even replaced with a nightmare of my own father hunting down the women in my family. I think many women will have a difficult time reading through the sheer brutality of the endless beatings that cover page after page in this book. The entire book is one account of beating after beating after rape of a minor after beating after rape and so on. I could not find anything uplifting or edifying in these pages. The best I could say is that it will awake readers to the importance of raising good sons and strong daughters.
I cannot recommend this book to most readers due to its graphic nature, unpleasantness and sadly, yes, unbiblical teachings. The abused girls prayed throughout the book and that was about the extent of Christianity in this book. At the end of the book, it is revealed that our main character, Frances, chose to date "an unbeliever" and writes "Wayne was not yet a Christian. I learned later that he had asked God for someone to pray and go to church with. He had faith, believed in God, and wanted to learn more, but had not yet totally trusted God for salvation." Her theology is incorrect. If God freely justifies and gives an individual the gift of faith and the Holy Spirit, they are a believer. So, either Wayne was already a believer or he did not have faith. All believers have faith. You cannot have true faith and be an unbeliever. Faith is a gift from God and not a human's commitment or dedication to live the Christian life.

Fran also misapplies the biblical verse "But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." This verse in Reformed Theology is law to unbelievers and is used to demonstrate our INABILITY to uphold the law and our need for a savior. It is impossible for man to forgive the sins of others perfectly. Once we are justified by God and given the Holy Spirit, we are free from this law and can live spiritually to forgive others out of the correct motivation. Fran is using a legalistic motivation of fear that God will cast her out and she will lose her salvation if she doesn't force herself to humanly forgive. However, I believe the Bible teaches that our correct motivation should be love and we forgive others AS we were forgiven by Christ. It is a positive motivation and not a negative motivation. This is the difference between living a life of works-righteousness verses living to glorify God out of love and admiration. Fran is teaching legalism here, which is a heavy yoke around a Christian's neck.

For further reading on the truth of understanding the difference between Justification and Read "Christ Is Lord" from Michael Horton so that you will get a very clear view of Justification apart from Sanctification
Listen to White Horse Inn's radio broadcast called "Give Them Grace" with Michael Horton interviewing Elyse Fitzpatrick. It took me like 10 times of listening to this to finally get what they were saying because it was so profound and deep and opposite from what I had been believing. They talk about how to live for glorifying God EVEN when we fail. This is so deep.
Also listen to/read these sermons from John Piper:
Eternal Life Has Appeared in*Christ - Desiring God
Let Us Walk in the Light of*God - Desiring God
Jesus Christ Is an Advocate for*Sinners - Desiring God (This one is SOOO convicting. It talks about Jesus dying for our sins and how we should not take sin lightly)
Also, listen to White Horse Inn radio broadcast's "Antinomianism part 1" and "Antinomianism part 2"

My disclaimer - I received this book from the publisher but I am not required to give a positive review. I always give brutally honest reviews and attempt to critically point out parts of the book that may not agree with the Bible and so not appeal to others. I want you readers to be able to confidently choose a book based on the stars I give it, because I know you have limited money, time and energy to read. So let's make the most of our lives and discern and choose the very best books wisely.

No comments:

Post a Comment