Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Book Review of "What Difference Do It Make?" by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent

What Difference Do It Make? is a continuation of the message and story begun with the book Same Kind of Different As Me. In Same Kind of Different As Me we were introduced to two men, Ron Hall and Denver Moore, and their unlikely friendship. In this sequel, we are treated to Ron and Denver's ongoing stories. We are also treated to several other interludes in the book where people from around the country share how the story of Mr. Hall and Mr. Moore influenced them and changed their lives.

Denver's part of the new book involves filling in some of the blanks in his personal history, and sharing some of his thoughts and experiences since the last book was written. It becomes obvious as you read along that Denver is finding his voice. He is stating his opinions more forcefully, challenging his hearers and readers more, and growing in his faith.

For me, Ron's story in this book was more compelling. Most of Ron's section of the book describes his conflict with his father throughout his life, and slowly moves toward telling the story of reconciliation with his father. It also spends some time telling about how Ron grieved the loss of his wife. In the first book, we hear about how God breaks down the walls between two men of very different backgrounds. In this book, we see how the Spirit breaks down the walls between Ron's alcoholic father and himself. When Ron is willing to treat his father with the same kind of love as he has Denver and the other homeless men he works with, his relationship with his father improves. For the most conservative of evangelicals, Ron's methods of reconciling with his father may be difficult to stomach. However you view his behavior, Ron clearly chose to accept his father the way he was instead of the way he wanted him to be, and that made all the difference in their relationship.

I recommend this story heartily for anyone who loved Same Kind of Different As Me. Otherwise, it will be hard to understand this book, and the foundation on which it was written.

(Although I was not required to write any review for this book, a copy was provided to me by Thomas Nelson publishers after reviewing the first book in the series)

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