52 Original Wisdom Stories – Book Review

52 Original Wisdom Stories

52 Original Wisdom Stories – Book Review

It’s that time of year when Christian readers begin their annual search for a good devotional to challenge their faith and draw them closer to God throughout the year.

What qualities do you look for in a good devotional?

In her article Writing Devotionals at The Christian Communicator, Mary Lou Redding states:

Good devotional writing is Scripture-based. It is grounded firmly in Bible study. It grows out of meditation and reflection on the Holy Word and its meaning for our lives.

As Mary Lou says, good devotionals “don’t take words out of context or use Scripture inappropriately.” They also do not promote religious syncretism – the blending of diverse religious practices and beliefs, often from contradictory sources, to form your own personal belief system.

That’s New Age.

That’s Gnostic.

Therein lays the problem with 52 Original Wisdom Stories – Short Lively Pieces For The Christian Year by Penelope Wilcock.

52 Original Wisdom Stories contains a series of 52 fictional narratives featuring Sid and Rose – a couple who the author introduces to us as “serious believers” in the Foreword to the book – but whose words and thoughts portray them as anything but.

The narratives in 52 Original Wisdom Stories weave together the philosophies and tenets from a variety of non-Christian spiritual and religious traditions and practices, including pagan Celtic and natural folk religions, Buddhism, Zoroastroanism, and astrology – intermingle them with traditional Christian beliefs – and present this conglomeration of ideas as suitable Christian theology.

It’s not.

As if this were not bad enough, 52 Original Wisdom Stories is being sold and marketed to Christians – who currently do not have the option of previewing the book before purchase – by a publisher who states:

Our mission as an evangelical Christian publisher is to develop and distribute—with integrity and excellence—trusted, biblically-based resources that lead individuals to know and serve Jesus Christ.

How misleading!

52 Original Wisdom Stories is not going to lead you closer to God – and it’s not a trusted biblically-based resource. It bears one of those “false gospels” that the Apostle Paul warns us about in Galatians 1:8.

Christians who purchase this book believing they are buying a traditional devotional are going to be in for a shock when they start reading it!

Now, if you believe that all paths lead to God and have no interest in a biblically-based devotional, then you may enjoy this book. Without the filter of biblical discernment, you might even find some of the stories thought-provoking.

However, if you are a looking for a good devotional that draws you closer to God – a devotional that helps you understand the God of the Bible and does not attempt to re-create God into the image he or she wants him to be – then 52 Original Wisdom Stories is NOT the book for you.

As Scripture says:

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”.

1 Corinthians 3:19

I cannot in clear conscience recommend this book to you.

I rate this book 2 out of 5 stars.

About Penelope Wilcock

Penelope Wilcock

Penelope (Pen) Wilcock is a former hospice and school chaplain with many years of experience as a Methodist minister. She is also the author of more than a dozen books of fiction and poetry, including The Hawk and the Dove trilogy. Currently, she lives a quiet life on the southeast coast of England with her husband. She is also the mother of five adult daughters.


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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


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2 Responses to “52 Original Wisdom Stories – Book Review”

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  1. Tina at Mommynificent
    Twitter: mommynificent

    That must have been a hard review to write, but I appreciate your honesty. I hate it when I feel misled about what a book will contain, especially when I’ve agreed to review it. Well done. Thanks for being a part of Booknificent Thursday this week!

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Thanks Tina, it was – I hate being less than positive and it takes SO much longer to write a critical review than a positive one – but sometimes, that’s what we’re called to do. Have a blessed week and thanks for your encouragement!

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