She belonged to the group before she believed anything they said. He lived a life worthy of noticing, in front of anyone wanting to watch. Wonderful and amazing things happened because of it all. Carolynn’s story is normal and exciting, typical and captivating all at the same time. In her memoir Surprised by Oxford, Carolynn tells her own story of the year she spent studying at one of the oldest universities in the world. She shares about the friends she meets, the culture she comes to love, the professors that challenge her and her family back home in the states that are puzzled by what she finds in a far away place.
I found myself feeling like I was Carolynn’s friend too, sitting right next to her, experiencing all she was experiencing along with her. I quickly read the 440 pages in just a few days.
Carolynn writes on page 138, “I began to worry that perhaps I was getting in over my head here. It was occurring to me that believing in the Bible was an all-or-nothing affair. Either you believe it is the revealed Word of God, or you don’t. It’s like being pregnant. Impossible. Either you are in or you are out. Having eliminated lunatic, given the unavoidable seriousness warranted of my attention, was it now liar or Lord? I was still not sure. Yet why did reading this text give me goose bumps- literal goose bumps- more consistently than anything else I had ever read? Why did my life and how it related to the lives of others hitherto now make more sense, and yet more than ever, in and of itself, not seem enough?”
Grab a copy. Here!
I would recommend this book to any student or adult. I would also recommend this book to anyone interested in getting into the mind of someone who grew up “around” Christianity, but really has no idea what this whole Bible-thing is all about. This puts words to something that I feel is really confusing to many trusting people.
Thomas Nelson provided a free copy of Surprised by Oxford, by Carolynn Weber in exchange for an honest review. Thanks TNP!