Monday, September 6, 2010

Why God Matters: A Review

I just finished reading Why God Matters, a new book from Tribute Books, by Karina Lumbert Fabian and her father Deacon Steven Lumbert. Our family had a long road trip this weekend, and while the baby slept in her car seat I read the entire book aloud to Paul. It made the hours of driving fly by as we read and discussed what we had read.

Why God Matters begins with a forward that briefly explains the process by which early converts were brought into the Church, and the reality that the early Church recognized, that conversion was not a single moment or decision, but an ongoing process that takes place over a lifetime.

In Why God Matters, Deacon Steve and Karina mix stories of personal experiences with scripture and Church teachings and then give suggestions to help the reader think, act and pray to grow spiritually.

Deacon Steve offers the perspective of a convert, who attended Mass with his wife and children for years before taking the step to begin RCIA. He began by believing that it didn’t matter what Church a person attended as long as they loved God, but gradually began to realize that the spiritual hunger that he felt could only be satisfied by the Catholic Mass. In time he realized that what he believed were the “hang-ups” of faith were not actually barriers at all but support, which would help his faith to grow and flourish.

Karina, offers another perspective. She was raised in the Church, but notes that “religion was not a big deal in our house.” Once in college however she made a survey of different faiths and returned to Catholicism. After being confirmed while in the Air Force as an adult she has continued to grow in faith, raising a family, writing for her diocese newspaper and attending Mass.

Why God Matters shows how God’s hand can be seen moving in everyday experiences, if we allow ourselves to be open to His will for our lives. Karina and Deacon Steve’s stories show us how God can be found in ordinary, everyday experiences and how those experiences can draw us closer to God.

I especially enjoyed the way Why God Matters linked quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church with relevant stories from Deacon Steve and Karina’s lives. It inspired me to open up our copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and I’ve now promised myself that I’m going to read it cover to cover. Reading Why God Matters helped me to see that I’d missed out on the beauty of the Catechism by relying overly much on the Compendium of the Catechism that we’d also received in RCIA . Deacon Steve and Karina’s stories alongside the Catechism quotes reminded me of just how relevant the Catechism is in our everyday lives.

God can be seen in ordinary moments and how it is often through those ordinary moments and decisions that we draw closer to Him.

To read an excerpt click here!


  1. Cammie - thanks for a great review of 'Why God Matters' and for being a stop on the book's blog tour.

    We appreciate your sharing the book with your blog readers and that you enjoyed Deacon Steve and Karina's stories intermingled with the Cathechism of the Catholic Church.

    Best wishes,
    Tribute Books

  2. Dear Cammie,

    Thaks so much for reviewing Why God Matters. Dad thought up the idea of including the Catechism and I'm so glad, because it's inspired many to take a closer look at this wonderful Catholic resource.

    There're several pamphlets available for reading the Catechism in a year. The one I have is called "Read the Bible and the Catechism in a Year" and it divides both books up into about 20 minutes of reading. I think you can find it at


  3. I enjoyed your straight-forward, simple commentary. I also like the idea of reading it aloud to your husband for on-going discussion. My review of this book will be posted tomorrow, and I had more difficulty categorizing this book than you. Reading it aloud to someone else and getting feedback was a great idea to help clarify your thoughts.
    P.S. Reading your latest posts to get to this one, I enjoy your writing. (And regarding your next post which I didn't comment on: Don't worry about the idiots, didn't Christ say something about "the idiots will always be with us" --- or am I just reading into His words?)


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