I was deluged with recommendations for Surprised by Oxford, which is a memoir and conversion story written by a Canadian academic. I loved the book’s descriptions of life at Oxford, and was again amazed at how God reaches people precisely in the mode and under the terms that they need.
The book was well-paced for a memoir, although there were a few points that dragged out a little or where I wondered if the novelistic tension was present in the real events or played up for the sake of the book. That’s sort of always a thing with memoirs though–how to pace them and tell the story without getting bogged down. Overall, I think Weber did a great job, and I found the memoir highly readable and compelling.
I enjoyed seeing how Weber wove in quotations and passages from literature that spurred her on in her thinking. I remember once telling someone that I had been reading Marcus Aurelius and had found it a source of conviction on a couple of points. The person was aghast at the idea that I could have found any conviction in a source other than the Bible. That’s not to say that the Bible isn’t our foundational source, but there is truth in lots of places, and I think God can use what we’re studying to spur our thinking to spiritual things. Anyway, it was interesting to see how God had used literature that way in Weber’s life as well.
Surprised by Oxford is a thought-provoking and highly interesting memoir, and I’d especially recommend it if you’re interested in different conversion stories.
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