Cross of a Different Kind: Cancer & Christian Spirituality

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The diagnosis of “cancer” is something that no one ever wants to hear or experience. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that cancer does not discriminate in its victims; the American Cancer Society has stated that for 2019, the estimated number of new cancer diagnoses will be 1,762,450, with 606,880 cancer deaths in the United States alone. How an individual ultimately deals with cancer can make all the difference in their overall experience, and sometimes it can even determine their outcome. Anthony Maranise, an instructor of Religious Studies at the University of Memphis, a certified life coach, chaplain, author, and personal cancer survivor, has written Cross of a Different Kind to help those who are dealing with cancer and its effects. Losing a loved one, dealing with cancer in the moment, and dealing with survival (at least for the moment) make up the stages of dealing with cancer. Being a religious man, Maranise has written this book to help those dealing with cancer, particularly from a Christian perspective. Scripture verses and biblical references help to reassure and calm cancer victims by helping them to understand that when Jesus came to Earth, he also endured pain and suffering. This can help victims to better understand the love that our God has for us because unlike us here on earth who have no choice, he chose to come down to Earth from his heavenly realm that contains no pain or sadness and endure suffering and physical death because he loves us that much. When an individual must deal with cancer in its different ways, it is not because we “deserve” this punishment but rather that we are feeling the effects of sin passed down from Adam and Eve. One of the most important things to remember is John 3:16 to remind us of Jesus’s love for all of mankind, not hatred to inflict us with cancer or other harm. John 6:40 expands on the previous verse by stating the importance of Jesus’s bodily resurrection and his promise to those who believe in him that he will raise our bodies to perfection on the last day, and then for eternity thereafter.

Reading Cross of a Different Kind can seem like a devotional as well as a guidance book. With myself not currently falling into any of the three categories in this book, I would say this is still a great read for anyone to remind them of God’s love for us. Even when times get tough and seem out of our control, God will never give us more than we can handle. When it seems to us that the issue is too much, maybe take it as a compliment that God knows that you are capable of so much more than you had originally given yourself credit for. The text is written from a Catholic background, a background I do not share; nonetheless, I have to say that some of the topics are not 100% biblically sound, but I can see why they would be included, to make the cancer victims feel better about what they’re going through. Overall, this is a book I would recommend to anyone.

Reviewed By:

Author Anthony Maranise
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 188 pages
Publisher Eternal Insight Press
Publish Date 2018-01-22
ISBN 9780692974148 Buy this Book
Issue March 2019
Category Religion


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