Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review: Shattered: Struck Down, But Not Destroyed (Frank Pastore)

Shattered: Struck Down, But Not Destroyed is an autobiographical sketch of Frank Pastore’s (Frank) spiritual journey from childhood to the present day, from atheism to faith in Jesus Christ.

Raised by an abusive and stalwartly atheist mother, Frank tells the story of her early impact on his views on faith and Christianity. From youth into adulthood as a professional baseball pitcher, he regarded faith in God as a delusion and a fantasy. He indulged in a life of materialism and through friendships with fellow teammates, who were Christians, was determined to disprove the Christian faith.

Through a series of personal life challenges climaxing in a career-ending injury to his pitching arm, Frank recalls a pivotal moment when the Christian players on the team met with him for what reads like an intervention. Unlike previous get-togethers, his teammates brought an evangelist who, in turn, brought books. They introduced him to Frank, and after a while, he introduced Frank to his books. After much reflection on his beliefs and reading arguments for the Christian faith by such esteemed authors such as C.S. Lewis, Frank surrendered his life to Christ.

For me, what came after Frank’s conversion intrigued me the most. He tells that his resistance to Christianity was mostly intellectual, and for all the appeals to believe, his Christian teammates could not defend the faith against his arguments. That is, until Frank started reading, well, apologetics. Never shy about wanting to set his teammates straight, Frank confronted them, this time from the other side of the fence. He writes,

“Guys!” I said. “For years you’ve been sharing with me why I needed to become a Christian. I’ve been asking you all these basic questions, like why do you believe God exists, how do you know the Bible is true, why is there evil in the world, why is Christianity the only true religion, what about the person who’s never heard of Jesus—and for more than five years you’ve given me really bad answers. I could have died and gone to hell, and my blood would have been on your hands!”
This is what I believe is the true mission of Shattered. The book is an implicit plea to all well-meaning Christians that sometimes saying “just have faith” to an unbelieving friend is not the due diligence required to share the Gospel.

Shattered is a heartwarming book for any thoughtful Christian who wants to know the background of KKLA’s most cutting edge radio talk show host today. For added excitement, Frank includes the dramatic details of his cross-country adventure to marry the love of his life, his wife Gina. This book will leave you smiling as it did to me.