Girl Meets God:
On the Path to a Spiritual Life
Lauren F. Winner
Algonquin, 303 pages, $23.95

So there's the Good Book, and inside the Good Book there's an Old Book and a New Book. There are followers of the Old Book who don't recognize the New Book, and there are followers of the New Book who do pretty much the same with the Old. For them, the Old Book is a whole 'nother ball of wax.

The everyday life of some Christians could slide along from birth to death without a second glance at the Old Testament. Then there might come along another disruptive book like, say, Girl Meets God, that could shake up this tidy dichotomy by recounting the unexpected tale of an orthodox Jew's conversion to evangelical Christianity. Then the question must be asked: what has Jerusalem to do with … well, Jerusalem?

Although the two faiths share common Scripture in the Old Testament, although the New Testament is a Jewish book through and through, although Christianity is based entirely on attributing the Hebrew notion of Messiah to a first-century Jew, it is hard to remember that Jews and Christians are brothers and sisters by adoption.

One of the stranger results of this memory lapse is that a Jewish conversion to Christianity is quite unsettling. Reviewers of CT Contributing Editor Lauren Winner's book are clearly uncomfortable with her conversion story, as if to apologize for the inherent interest in the subject matter. Publishers Weekly assures us that "Winner does not often scrutinize her motives" and seems relieved that her book "is not a defense of either faith (there is something here to offend every reader)."

Library Journal remarks, "One has a sense that Winner's head is still spinning and that she is still catching up with her changes of ...

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