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Where Flowers in the Desert shines is in being an excellent overview of almost all aspects of the Christian Walk. It reminds me of Mere Christianity in that way because this book is almost like: “So you want to be a Christian?? Great, here’s what that entails.”


Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another Christian book review for The Christian Book Corner.

If you’ve been checking out my recent blog posts, you’ve already heard a lot about the book for today’s review. And that book is Flowers in the Desert by Demetrius Dumm. I’ve been talking about it a lot, and making quite a few posts, because it’s such a great book. Even though it’s an older book (1987), I knew I would have to do a review of it for The Christian Book Corner. This is one of those solid books that’s useful to all Christians at any point of their Spiritual Walk.

So without further ado, let’s get right into it. Let me tell you about Flowers in the Desert by Demetrius Dumm and what you’ll find in the book.

What’s in the Book

To put it most simply, Flowers in the Desert by Demetrius Dumm is a book about the Bible. It covers topics like the main themes of the Bible, how to interpret what we read, and what’s the main message of Jesus.

But Flowers is also a simple overview of almost every aspect of the Christian life. The Christian Walk. As we read through Demetrius Dumm’s exposition of the Biblical message, he talks about being a Christian through each part of the journey of life. This includes being Christian through the hardships and tragedies everyone (Christian or not) faces in life. He refers to Scripture to make his points because it’s not about what he’s saying; it’s about what the Bible teaches on how to deal with life. Demetrius Dumm steps in to explain what Scripture says.

So the book gives info on how to follow God in good times and bad. By the time the book is done, we’ve covered most of the bases. That’s why I call Flowers in the Desert a kind of guidebook or overview to the Christian life. But it becomes a guidebook to the Christian life because it was written as a guidebook to Scripture. The main concern of Flowers in the Desert is teaching about the Bible (the subtitle is “A Spirituality of the Bible”), and it’s the Bible that lays out how to live the Christian life. But Demetrius Dumm does a great job explaining what the Bible says, and the significance of the events and language inside.

I hope you follow what I’m saying here. Flowers in the Desert is a guide to the Bible, and as a result also becomes a great guide to the Christian life.

Demetrius Dumm has also done much historical and literary research into the Bible. That much is clear. He often gives helpful and informative translations of the Hebrew and/or Greek words used in the original versions of the passages he cites. Although this isn’t the same as reading a dedicated Bible commentary (of which many exist), it’s helpful for grasping the meaning of the original authors.

Demetrius’ goal is to increase our understanding of the Bible—and by extension the meaning of living a Christian life—on many levels. And I say he succeeds at that goal in Flowers in the Desert. This has become an important book for me in my life, and I feel like I can’t say enough good things about it.

But nothing in this fallen world is perfect; not this book and not even this book review either. So let me put Flowers under the microscope and be honest with you about what I see there.

Don’t Think like a Sadducee

So I mentioned in another book review that I have a problem as a book reviewer. I’m too easy to please with books, and when I’m done all I usually have to say is, “good book. Nice job, author.”

On a logical level of course I know that nothing is perfect in this fallen world. No human creation, work, or invention is perfect, because perfect is not a standard we can achieve. So there has to be some negative to every book.

But at the same time I also can’t just pull criticism “out of nowhere,” and think up or make up some stuff to criticize. I have to try my best to be fair. I don’t want to be petty. But I don’t know if I can help it that I’m so satisfied with almost all the books I read. I mean, is that even a problem to solve?? It sounds there’s no problem there, and life is good.

Anyway ….

Demetrius Dumm has a habit of repeating himself often. (Sound like any other Christian writers you read?? Heh.) Repetition is the way to drive a point home, for learning. And yet it also creates some repetitiveness. Although it’s a short book, the repetitive parts may get on some readers’ nerves. Sometimes the repetition feels unneeded.

And sometimes Demetrius Dumm is vague and ambiguous. He might say that’s intentional though, since he’s writing on the mysteries of God and Faith. It can still be annoying to read the vague ambiguity at times. There are some points when it’s hard to interpret what he’s saying. Is that really his fault though?? We are talking about God and the mysteries of God, so how concrete and specific can a person actually be??

The final point against this book is Demetrius Dumm has some Sadducee-like tendencies. I can appreciate he’s done plenty of historical and literary research into the Bible. That’s good, up until the point he uses his research to deny or ‘dilute’ some of the supernatural events in the Bible. His position seems to be we should interpret almost nothing in the Bible in a literal way. As for stories of miracles and other supernatural events, these are only legends that teach a lesson, he says. But this stance denies God’s supernatural interventions, miracles, and other wonders. This is a Sadducee-like error, as we must never put limits on our ideas of God’s Power by saying all supernatural things in the Bible are metaphors and nothing more. We do have a God who can take supernatural action and affect the Spiritual world. God has acted in my life in a supernatural way before (only rarely, but I know He did at least once). And nothing Demetrius Dumm says will erase my experience.

That said, almost the entire book is digestible by any Christian denomination. It’s only a few parts such as the Sadducee-like errors that cause indigestion.

The Final Word

At the end of the day, what I have to say about Flowers in the Desert is simple. It’s a great book, and I highly recommend it!! It’s short, easy to read, and understandable to all types of readers. As an extra bonus it’s cheap too, because it’s an older book.

Where Flowers in the Desert shines is in being an excellent overview of almost all aspects of the Christian Walk. It reminds me of Mere Christianity in that way because this book is almost like: “So you want to be a Christian?? Great, here’s what that entails.”

That’s why both Flowers in the Desert and Mere Christianity are great books for beginner and intermediate Christians. And of course both books are useful for Christians of all levels. But Flowers has one of the best overviews of almost all parts of the Christian Walk that I’ve read in awhile. It goes without saying it doesn’t cover everything, but what book can do that besides the Bible?? This book at least covers all the basics quite nicely.

If there’s one part that felt a little light it would be the topic of taking control of our thoughts, and fighting the war in our minds. For a great book on that topic, check out The Christian Book Corner #12: Winning the War in Your Mind.

Still, Flowers in the Desert has one of the best simple overviews of the Christian experience. That reason alone makes it a valuable read!! In my opinion this book should be on every Christian’s reading list. It’s a good read for experienced Christians who want a recap/review, or new Christians looking for an overview or light guidance. So grab a copy today!!

Flowers in the Desert

by Demetrius Dumm. Paulist Press, 1987.

Buy Flowers in the Desert on Amazon. (This is an affiliate link. I receive a small commission if you buy with this link.)

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Until next time, be strong and do good!!

Your new best friend in Christ,

99:9

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