Amidst the shaken world where political leaders reach out for teetering favoritism against challengers by declaring their religious backgrounds but months later subject themselves to resigning from the elected seat/position due to unmoral activities; celebrities that corresponding generations lookup to as role-models are sent to jail for committing unjustifiable crimes; an unearthed economic system that turns many families to poverty; and/or religious leaders themselves resigning due to unprincipled acts; it is especially hard to find a level ground to stand on religiously. It took, soon to be published, Minister Dante Fortson a trip to jail to realize his true place in this upturned world. Learn how his spiritual awakening behind jail bars took his life in a more direct, GPS driven path to writing his new book, “Religion and Relationship” about how and why to establish or re-establish a relationship with God the modern way.
Minister Dante Fortson found himself in the ashes of defeat but found the meaning to his life through the bars of a jail cell but rose above these harsh times to become a minister and not only strengthen his faith but reach above it and write a book to help others establish or re-establish theirs through his new book, “Religion and Relationship”. Minister Fortson reached out to me a few weeks ago with hi new guide book for building a healthy religious relationship with God through his book which includes a seven step plan. It was my honor to read this soon to be published authors’ first book.
He rose from ashes to the baby-blue skies as the Christian Phoenix (as the author so gently puts it) that God had chosen to be a modern, non-denominational instructor on how to live a life with Christ without the necessary pew warming duties every Sunday morning. This self-help book is just over 100 pages filled with scriptures that are meant for fellow brothers and sisters that may have lost or let their religious beliefs fall between the cracks. It follows along the path the basic 5 W’s of literature: Who, What, Where, When and How to build a relationship with God. The book will be available in October with an anticipated price cover of $14.95.
After reading through the entire book, I feel as though I have a love, hate relationship with it. It is built upon many wonderful scriptures describing each chapter topic skillfully. Throughout the book I kept thinking that Minister Dante Fortson’s congregation must have a charmed adventure each and every church sermon. He is under thirty years old and through short recollections throughout the book the reader can tell that he is one that has definitely digested everything throughout these short years on earth. It is a pleasure to read as a “practicing Christian”.
Readers can look forward to gracefully chosen phases from the Bible followed by descriptions of each which engage the Christian reader into understanding more about faith, religion, and the Holy Trinity. If the descriptions were not enough, the author has placed “chapters of interest” from the Bible to further instruct the reader on the main topic of each chapter. Although not frequent, the author starts to put in some personal information such as a short description of what he had heard as a child and misunderstood surrounding the topic of religion. Many of the points that were brought up after this point in the book I had also heard as a child but misinterpreted for many years in my adolescence.
Then, 3/4 into the book the author starts to carefully place topics of how on a personal level each and every reader can achieve a better relationship with God. This important section of everyone’s life starts with the title: “What Can We Do To Fix Things?” It is followed up by the main attraction of the book in Chapter 7. This chapter is the self-help section which helps the reader with: Restoring Your Relationship: Recognition; Decision; Forgiveness; Have Faith; Conversations with God; Resistance; and Praising God. All of these topics are explained with chapters from the bible and are advised as steps to building a better relationship with God.
On the “hate” side, I do have to say there are some specific mismanaged points to the book in entirety that as a seasoned writer myself and bookworm were a bit concerning. First of all, I felt as though the book was written without too much personal feeling from the author. It lacks a personality that a self-help book should contain and much to my displeasure lacked any anecdotes from the author himself. The introduction of the book starts out with a luscious background peek into the authors’ life that includes his time in jail and finding himself during his time behind bars. To me the introduction gave us the feeling of a classic case of “bait and switch” to the interested reader. It baited me into believing that the author was going to use personal experience to help others that may have been turned down the wrong path also. It lacked that human connection that a good Christian Self-Help book should contain for a reader to keep interested throughout the book.
When I went into reading the book, I had the mindset that this book was going to be unlike any other Christian book that taught how I could strengthen my relationship with God. Unfortunately, I found the entire book to be filled to the brim with Bible passages and short descriptions that lacked general human interest. Due to this mindset, my interest may have been misguided into wanting more from this book that turned out to be a series of sermons than a well-written self-help book. In fact, the author mentions that he was guided by God into writing this book which only took four weeks from start to finish.
In addition, I found certain parts of the book to take a personal deter from teaching how to create a relationship with God. For instance, the book touches within a few sentences of “Sodom and Gomorrah” – “the bibles’ first set of homosexuals”. Although some religious instructors try to connect the two detrimental cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with homosexuality causing destruction, it has since then been long argued against this wrongly accused connection that their only crimes were of pride and/or inhospitality. For more information see the website Christian Gay for more information about this topic on Sodom and Gomorrah. Although I would never condemn a fellow Christian for his/her beliefs I felt it awkwardly placed into the book meant for all Christians of any denomination.
After going through and nit-picking “Religion and Relationships” by Minister Dante Fortison I would suggest the book to already baptized Christians. Readers will find the descriptions written by Minister Fortison to be easy to understand and covers some good points throughout the book. Reading the book is similar to hearing a good guest speaking minister on Sunday morning. On the other hand, I do not suggest this book for people looking to reestablish a relationship with God and/or those that are new to Christianity since it can get overwhelming and lacks personal anecdotes. Seeing that this book was the first for the reformed minister Dante Fortson, I look forward to future works along with personal experience that can tune into our own personal lives as sinners; after all, everyone is a sinner and all of us need to reel in our faith at times in our lives when it has gotten too far into the territory unknown.