Book Recommendation: Same Kind of Different as Me

A month or two back, I stumbled across Same Kind of Different as Me, the true friendship story of millionaire art dealer Ron Hall and former sharecropper, former homeless man Denver Moore. Glancing it over on the discount table at the local bookstore, I wondered, “Haven’t I seen this before? Did my wife already read this?” Then I saw that it was a memoir of God’s strange providence through mercy ministry and friendship. I had to read it.

Here’s my recommendation and review in bullet form:

Good Stuff

  • Content: Most importantly, this book is about how applying the commands of the gospel, specifically to love your (poorer, richer, different) neighbor as yourself, brings joy, friendship, hope, encouragement, and correction. It illustrates the truth that, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
  • Writing Style: Ron and Denver, with the aid of co-writer Lynn Vincent, write their alternating chapters in an engaging, humorous style. They quickly move from laughter to tears and back again. They should team up again, because their style is eminently readable.
  • Realism: Neither Ron nor Denver gives in to the temptation to sugarcoat aspects of their lives – Ron’s adultery and Denver’s anger – for instance – are treated as the sins they are. In fact, they go on to witness to God’s amazing grace in their lives in, through, and in spite of those sins and their subsequent repentance.

Improvements?

Here I might offer the two authors some loving encouragements:

  • More Gospel: The good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is occasionally mentioned but never explained. In a book that is so obviously built upon the gospel, the author’s shouldn’t assume that their readers already understand Christ. Their wider audience would benefit well from hearing the gospel explained several times, very clearly.
  • More Theology: We never hear of exactly what Debbie, Ron’s late wife, believed that propelled her to love the homeless so selflessly. We never hear of what changed in Ron’s and Denver’s hearts to bring them to repentance, faith toward God, and deep friendship with each other.

It was a great book! I read most of it within three or four days. It was one of those “hard to put down” books because you are so invested in the characters. There were many parts that almost brought me to tears, and I’m not a crying reader! Such is a good book, and a deeper explanation of the Bible’s teaching would have only made it better.

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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