by Paul Coughlin & Jennifer D. Degler, Ph.D.
$14.99 ; 177 pages
I received this book for free as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.
I was a little nonplussed to receive No More Christian Nice Girl in the mail. I had not really expected to receive a self-help book directed primarily at women, but there you go. I did actually put it on the list however, because the premise did resonate with me: being nice and being good are not the same thing.
The general idea of this book and its predecessor, No More Christian Nice Guy, is that being nice, meaning trying to accommodate everyone, suppressing unpleasant thoughts, and avoiding conflict, is destructive of our selves and our families. Superficially, being nice seems to be the calling of a Christian, especially in this age. This trend was brilliantly parodied by Dogma's Buddy Christ.
However, when you get down to it, Our Lord really wasn't nice, in the sense most people mean it. One of the best features of this book is its Appendix A, which documents instances in the Gospels where Jesus had something sharp to say to someone.
Christ had a rather sharp sense of humor indeed, one that was on display when something needed to be said to more than one purpose: one immediate, one eternal.
However, this is not to say that we ought to tear out all the existing art and replace it. G. K. Chesterton noted that even though Christian art is rather one-sided in its depiction of Christ, the instinct nonetheless sound, because there is just something wrong about decorating your church with a statue of Christ in wrath.
This book was not really intended for me, but I think it is basically sound. Charity in truth is really the best for everyone, even if it is easier to be nice.