Book Review: “O” God A dialogue on Truth and Oprah’s Spirituality

by Brooke West

“O” God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah’s Spirituality by Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett 

First, I would like to say, ‘Wow, what an incredible book! What an awesome message’. Though I was not looking for it, this book actually answered some questions I did not even know I had. It also changed the way I viewed Oprah, which I will get to in a moment.

At the time of this review, Oprah’s face and message is everywhere as she is in the midst of giving up her reign as ‘Queen of the talk-shows’. Personally, I can’t stand talk-shows so this does not affect me, but millions of people watch her daily, and I’m sure some are so unwilling to miss even a single show that they TiVo her. As each program brings her closer to the end, I can’t help but worry about the lives she is touching. Does she do some amazing things for people? Absolutely. Does she change lives for the better? You bet. Do people trust her and her opinion, not to mention her franchise? Yup. Does she endorse false prophets? Without a doubt. Has she willingly led people astray from the gospel with this? I’m sure more than a few.

The thing that is so dangerous about a person with that much money, and that much influence and that much manipulative access to you heart, mind and home is that it gives them a free pass. People see the good deeds done and think, ‘oh she’s such a wonderful person, and she gave away new cars to a bunch of people. Well if she’s that good, she must also be that smart. And to be that smart, she must really have an inner line on all things spiritual, therefore I will turn a blind eye to the logic provided to me by sound Christian teachings and blindly follow her down whatever rabbit hole religion she’s schlepping today.’ And another one bites the dust as Satan’s legions go wild.

I have to confess that I have never been an Oprah fan. You might have picked up on my subtle hint at that. In my mind, throwing money at a problem rarely fixes the problem entirely, though I do concede that she has done some very altruistic things for some very deserving people. To me, such things should be done quietly, privately and anonymously. Otherwise, you’re just showing off. That is where my problem has always been with Oprah and her cronies. Therefore, when she started coming out with all her ‘spiritualty’ nonsense I found myself all the more annoyed and quit listening to anything that was even remotely Oprah related.

This book does not condemn Oprah herself. I admire these men for that. It seems they are actually supportive of women still reading her magazine, and watching her show…with an asterisk. I think they well illustrated the point that you have to be discerning in your own choices and not just follow the crowd. I will probably continue to choose to not watch her show, or read her publications, or likely, any of the books she endorses (unless by some weird fluke she happens to pick up one of MY books, in which case I’ll have to make an exception) but I WILL likely cut her a little more slack. I don’t agree with her spiritually, politically, or morally but I will pray for her – which is more than I have done before.

But I digress. The basis of the book is an ongoing conversation regarding Truth and Spirituality between two friends; one, Avatari, former Hindu now a believer, the other, Lindsay, childhood believer now a skeptic. Excellent premise! I was really excited to hear what they had to talk about. But, while the conversations were most interesting and full of useful information, the only real complaint I have about the book come glaring through. Being a woman and an avid reader and writer of fiction myself, neither character seemed to have their own voice. And you know how we women folk love to hear our own voice (exhibit A being: this review). It seemed more like two dudes trying desperately to fit themselves into heels and some big east Texas hair and then trying to have a believable dialog about a topic in which they are comfortable and very well versed in…but totally uncomfortable because, well…they’re both dudes wearing heels. Awkward! This made it hard for me to identify with either one of them. There was an attempt to ‘fem it up’ with the dropping of Starbucks here, and Juicy Couture there, and a “Bless her heart” or two, but those details did not make it flow as much as it distracted from the message. And these are my own ugly personal prejudices rearing their ugly little heads, but the name Avatairi immediately turned me off as I have some serious problems with the movie ‘Avatar’ (tales of which I would love to regale you with at another time) and every time I read her name I found myself sighing with annoyance. I doubt the authors had that connection in mind when they wrote the book, but unfortunately that is where I went every single time, having said that, the rest of the book was entirely engaging and extremely well researched and written.

Personally, I think there are a lot of people out there who have wandered away from Truth because of what Oprah’s gurus have said about truth. Notice the difference. These supposedly opened minded people only want you to be open minded as far as believing their particular brand of insanity. If a person as smart and rich as Oprah believes what they say to be true and wise, it must be so, right? That is what is so dangerous about relying on someone’s opinion and not investigating these claims of truth on your own. If you find yourself jumping on the ‘spirituality’ bandwagon, I would hope that you have enough common sense to take a second and examine why you believe what you are being told.

As to the questions I didn’t know I had, the biggie is I didn’t know I was hung up on the ‘Jealous’ God thing until they brought it up in the book. While my understanding this ‘God being a ‘Jealous’ God’ concept was vastly different from the character Lindsay’s and totally opposite from Oprah’s, the words the authors chose to use in describing what that particular brand of jealousy meant, and then relating to it later in the book, really answered some personal things for me. I gained an enormous amount of insight from the topics the girls discussed; absolute truth, pluralism, pantheism, self-defeating statements. This book is full of wonderful gems of knowledge and great responses to skeptic’s questions. Responses that I will be using in the future when people feel they have me on the ropes, so to speak.

I give this book 4.5 eggs, it really is a great book, and I highly recommend it. However, you should not take my word for it, do some research, and then read it for yourself.

“O” God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah’s Spirituality by Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett 

*Complimentary review copy provided by the publisher

The Poached Egg Apologetics