Divided into 4 sections of 7 stories each, Callen helps the reader to discover: 1) People are just pitiful!, 2) God sure is different!, 3) How not to be God’s people!, and 4) Crazy possibilities for the future. He tackles menstruation, coitus interruptus, incest, bowel movements, sexual foreplay, nude parties, UFO’s, prostitution, infanticide, women warriors, idolatry, sorcery, floating animals, bears eating boys, hallucinating donkeys, tree climbers, godly wrestling, whale nausea and other “sickening” topics with panache and humor.
Callen makes some very interesting and colorful propositions in this book. For example, he notes that the Israeli spies were probably not some weak, simple, choir boys but men who previously were involved in sexual conquests that went to Rahab for the purpose of not only furthering her business ventures but also to gain information that they needed to conquer Jericho. And then to top it off, Rahab marries Joshua and finds herself in the lineage of the Messiah! This is definitely a strange story indeed!
Callen creates a “whale of a tale” about a big fish with a sense of humor that bargains with God in doing the will of God to bring salvation to godless gentiles. In this example, Wally the Whale makes a deal with God, “only one thing, God, a very little thing to you. Once this character is out of my system, promise that you’ll send my way a nice big meal that I’m allowed to swallow and digest.” Callen follows up with a humorous quip, “God now was smiling broadly. He can have a whale of a sense of humor, doing a deal with a big fish. It was certainly a new wrinkle in the biblical world of ‘covenants.’ I’ll have Jonah to you in no time. Just keep that big mouth open and I’ll get it filled for you.” This story is definitely nauseating (at least for Wally) and full of humor and truth.
In each chapter, Callen tells the story (complete with biblical references), then he tells the “awkward story – on the surface,” then “the in-depth meaning – below the mere words” and then concludes with contemporary lessons for the reader. His book is filled with discoveries, sickening humor, and biblical truths that you may have not previously considered.
I strongly recommend that you purchase this book when it comes out in February. You will find it published by Cascade Books, a division of Wipf and Stock. When the preorder is available, I will be publishing this review again.