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Elyse Fitzpatrick’s latest book Home is one that spoke to my heart and greatly encouraged me in my own personal journey of what it means to long for home. Fitzpatrick’s book is a Biblical dissertation on the desire every human has to be at home. For those who are in Christ, we have hope knowing that He is preparing a place for us and that our ultimate Home (what Elyse refers to as our capital H Home) isn’t here.
What I appreciate about Home, and I think many readers will appreciate, is that the tone differs from Elyse’s other writings. Most of her books are geared toward Christian women and serve as solid reminders of the Gospel and the hope we have in Christ. Home absolutely includes these reminders but also contains a good deal of personal anecdotes in which Elyse details two very difficult times she recently experienced that caused her to deeply consider what it means for believers to be at home.
I certainly appreciate her other works but there is nothing more consoling, I’ve found, than receiving counsel from a fellow Christian who can simultaneously relate to my personal struggles. Rather than coming across as Biblically academic in nature, Home felt more personable and transparent. At the time I read Home, I was living in Austin, Texas having left the only home I knew in Southern California a little over a year prior. I longed for home and Home, sinfully at times, and found Elyse’s book a great comfort as it not only reminded my heart that Jesus is coming again and also convicted my heart when I found myself idolizing home rather than Home.
Each chapter of Home concludes with compelling questions making this book great for individual or group study. I’ve never had any theological issues with any of Fitzpatrick’s works and can’t say that I necessarily did with Home, however, I did find a few cautions worth noting:
- The use of The Message, a paraphrase of the Bible. I personally am not a fan of The Message because I believe it creates a standard of acceptability in making God’s word say and mean what we want it to versus reading it in a manner in which the words have been accurately translated from the original languages of the Bible into English. Pastor Eugene Peterson created The Message to help his congregation better understand the Bible, but the best way to do this is by studying it from an accurate translation (I prefer the ESV but have heard that the NASB is also pretty solid).
- Elyse mentions on page 185 of the book that,” As a matter of fact, I’ve been attending two churches for months now. . . Just because I’m that needy.” This statement caused me to pause in confusion. The biggest question that came to mind after reading this was, “Why?” I don’t know of any passage in Scripture that would make it necessarily sinful to attend two churches but at the same time, I question whether or not doing so is wise. Since Elyse didn’t really explain why she attends two churches, apart from the brief statement previously mentioned, my concern is that people will read this and believe that it is okay to not be committed to a local church, which would violate what is set forth for Christians in Hebrews 10:24-25. I hope this isn’t Elyse’s heart and believe it isn’t however, I didn’t see this clearly spelled out.
Overall, Home greatly encouraged me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and helped redirect my heart to longing for the day of Christ’s return and it receives my recommendation.