Along the Way with Britt Towery

Book Book Review, Title Along the Way, Author Britt Towery, Rating 4.0,

Along the Way

Britt Towery

Book Review

Britt Towery is a very American thinker, who's opinion columns from a West Texas newspaper are collected here. I warmed quickly to his direct and sometimes folksy Texas style. He holds strong opinions on many subjects, but has a particular emphasis regarding the importance of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which safeguards our freedom of speech and religion.

You would find his opinions very honest, in the sense that they are open to ideas other than his; he typically acknowledges the inherent limits of his own arguments, and in this, implicitly defends the First Amendment. I find Britt’s ideas more than even-handed; they are relevant commentary on the current struggle over American values and culture.

Britt is a retired pastor and Christian missionary who served much of his life in China. He has taught at several institutions of higher learning. He represents the more thoughtful and compassionate side of Christian thinking, and reacts regularly to the cultural, religious and political distortions that are found today in much of Evangelical Christian public discourse in the United States.

Here is a representative thought about the Bible and homosexuality: "The sin in Lot’s Sodom in Genesis, chapter 19, is explained in the words of the prophet Ezekiel (18:49). He compares the days in Israel as worse than those of ancient Sodom. You daughters, he calls them, live a privileged life of careless ease with abundant food, refusing to help the poor and needy. Their arrogance and lack of concern for those poor among them was the sin of Sodom, not homosexualality. I find I can never truly grasp any message of the Bible in isolation."(Try To Re-think Bible and Gays) 

A sampling of the titles of his pieces suggest the kinds of things he writes about, and the style he employs:

I first came across Britt after one of my cousins began to spew anti-Muslim hatred on Facebook, around the time that plans were announced to build a mosque near the World Trade towers a few years ago. My cousin published a link to an openly bigoted anti-Muslim book, Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, by Peter Hammond. My first response to him was ‘Paranoid propaganda …’.

Then I began thinking that my cousin might be more responsive to a review of the book written by a seminarian, as he is a Bible college graduate, so I searched the internet, and one of the responses I came across was Britt’s, entitled Peter Hammond: Muslim Boogerman, the title of which I found amusingly direct, the content of which I found very thoughtful: "Peter Hammond's book goes much farther by ignoring what he doesn't understand and spreading panic with his twisted, myopic view of anything strange or different."

I stopped to read some of his other opinion pieces, and really enjoyed them. This was around the time that I created this website. One of the motivations for writing my own articles was to keep my opinions out of Facebook, which I use to keep up with friends and family. Reading Britt’s opinion pieces gave me additional motivation and inspiration in that regard. Britt and I conversed a little, and he was very gracious and encouraging regarding my decision to write.

Britt’s opinion pieces can not only be found in this book, which are a collection from his weekly column in the San Angelo Standard-Times, but in several other places:

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