Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Review: Pleasant Fruits…by Nathan D. Pietsch

by M. J. Joachim




Actually, the whole title is: Pleasant Fruits: Sweet Whispers from the Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Colorful and distinct, completely different from anything I’ve ever reviewed before, Pleasant Fruits is an interesting array of spiritual reflections, for those who are into this sort of thing. It’s evangelical in nature, a bit over the top for me, but very nicely done.

From my own experience, there’s almost a unique language Bible thumpers use when they have an audience. I don’t know if they act and speak this way all the time, but even when you read their words, you almost want to run the other way unless you’re one of them, pointing out all the sinfulness in the world and individuals, while preaching and interpreting the Bible to further drive home their point.

As a true fan of Jesus, and someone who does my best to live an upright, just and spiritual life, I thought I’d really enjoy this book. To some extent I did. To the other extent my mind wandered, because as much as I know God speaks to us, I’m not sure He was speaking to anyone on the pages of this book. I think that was Mr. Pietsch, and it felt very condescending and holier than thou at times.

The book is set up in such a way that the Holy Trinity is the one speaking in the reflections for each day. God then pronounces good and bad, while quoting the Bible to reinforce His commands. Readers are supposed to feed on this, feel the guilt cast down on them and ultimately make amends, which could be anything from turning their heart more toward God, to reconciling and fixing their divorced marriage. After all, God hates divorce.

There’s a constant reiteration throughout the book, telling readers to listen to the correct voice, and be wary of judging those who don’t - the ones who are condemning themselves to hell. I’m more of the school following the 11th Commandment - “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and “Judge not lest you be judged.” It’s simply not in my nature to determine who isn’t following God well enough to make it to heaven when they die. And chances are if I’m the one seeing and judging the flaw in them, I’m the one that needs to take the 2 x 4 out of my own eye, before plucking the splinter out of theirs.

If this book and other books by Mr. Pietsch help others strengthen and renew their relationship with God and live a happier, more fulfilling life that gives them greater hope and peace in this world, more power to it, and God bless Mr. Pietsch for working for the kingdom of God. Based on his bio, it seems likely he has every good intention to help as many people as possible, and writing and selling books, along with preaching is the way he’s chosen to do it. Far be it from me to find fault with anyone loving and serving God the best way they know how. In fact, I wish Mr. Pietsch all the best.

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Wishing you every success with everything you do,

M. J.

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