Book Review: The Air We Breathe by Glen Scrivener

The newly published The Air We Breathe by Glen Scrivener, is a compelling, fascinating, factual and challenging book all rolled into one. In this book, not only are we given a whirlwind tour of how Christianity has shaped our values throughout history, from the book of Genesis to the present day, but Glen also takes a detailed look at how Christianity has not only shaped our world, but those values we hold close to us in the modern day.

Book Review: The Air We Breathe by Glen Scrivener
Book Review: The Air We Breathe by Glen Scrivener

“Is Christianity history? Or is Christian history the deepest explanation of the modern world?

Today in the west, many consider the church to be dead or dying. Christianity is seen as outdated, bigoted and responsible for many of society’s problems. This leaves many believers embarrassed about their faith and many outsiders wary of religion. But what if the Christian message is not the enemy of our modern Western values, but the very thing that makes sense of them?

In this fascinating book, Glen Scrivener takes readers on a journey to discover how the teachings of Jesus not only turned the ancient world upside down, but continue to underpin the way we think of life, worth, and meaning. Far from being a relic from the past, the distinctive ideas of Christianity, such as freedom, kindness, progress and equality, are a crucial part of the air that we breathe. As author Glen Scrivener says in his introduction: “The extraordinary impact of Christianity is seen in the fact that we don’t notice it”.

This is a book for both believers and sceptics—giving Christians confidence to be open about their faith and showing non-Christians the ways in which the message of Jesus makes sense of their most cherished beliefs. Whoever you are, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the values you hold dear as you discover the power and profundity of Jesus and his revolution.” The Air We Breathe by Glen Scrivener.

Book Review: The Air We Breathe by Glen Scrivener

Having previously not heard of Glen Scrivener, I was really intrigued by the title and description of this book, especially without not having come across a book on the topics he has written about, whilst diving into history to enable the reader to take a closer look at the values they hold dear to them in the modern Western World, whether they are a Christian, new to faith, or don’t have any beliefs at all, but are interested in making sense of life. 

I found this book to be a fascinating and thought-provoking read. I must admit that I did have to take my time reading some of the chapters, and had to re-read some of the pages as they were a little difficult to understand, particularly the way and style this book is written in. I found it hard to understand some of what the author had written. But then, I feel this has been a great way to really let those words in the book sink in. This book is a real page-turner, and I’ve been learning a lot from it, especially through the history side. It’s been a real eye-opener.

There are some quite graphic details in the book, particularly from past events that have taken place over time, and although difficult and challenging to read, it really helped me to learn and understand more of just how much this world needs Jesus and why those past events happened and indeed, still happen. For those who may not know God, have some faith, or have a strong faith, but simply want to learn and understand more the impact of the Christian revolution, and Christian values and their importance in our lives today and our culture, and where they came from and how they developed, I’ve found this book highlights just that, but in an engaging way.

I think the description pretty much sums up what this book is about as a whole. I must admit, I did find it difficult explaining this book to my husband in just a few short words. It’s one that I feel needs to be read in order to fully understand what the author has written, and each individual needs to experience those thought-provoking moments it offers. This book has indeed helped me to think more closely about the values I hold close to me, and to learn more about the history of the influence that Christianity has had on the world in the past, and in the present day. The author ends with:

“But besides the look back in history and the look around at the world, we should look up to the one who knows the way out of the grave. We need not worry about the church’s size or prospects. We ought not to grasp at power as though we are the history-makers. We should instead trust in the King of the kingdom and shine His distinctive light into the world. The future is not in our hands, nor is it in the hands of the powerful, the popular or the perverse. The government is on Christ’s shoulders, and he has promised: “I will build my church, and the gates of hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18).

The Air We Breathe by Glen Scrivener is available to purchase now here.

Looking for more Christian books to read? Why not take a look at my book reviews for He Will Be Enough by Katie Faris, Refreshed by John Hindley, and The Awesome Super Fantastic Forever Party written by Joni Eareckson Tada. Or if you are looking for some Christian podcasts to listen to, take a look at My Top 3 Chrisitan Podcasts To Listen To Today.

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