Book Title: And God Came In
Author: Lyle W Dorsett
Date Published: July 1, 2009
Publisher: Hendrickson Publishers; 1st Print, This Edition edition
Genre: 1. Authors
2. Religious
3. Women
ISBN: 978-1598563566
Reviewer: Ruth Rosen

And God Came In chronicles the life of Joy Davidman Lewis with a devotion and precision one would expect only from a close friend or family member. This 148-page journey begins in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1915 and concludes 45 years later in the English countryside. Yet the author, Lyle W. Dorsett is neither relative nor friend to Joy Davidman. The care with which he unfolds the details of her life can be explained only by the author’s conviction that Joy Davidman was unquestionably a person worth knowing. This reader’s attention was captured immediately by the strength of that conviction.

After reading but a few pages, I found it not at all odd that I should care whether the Davidman family moved out of the Lower East Side and into the Bronx (at that time a sure sign of upward mobility!). I had been introduced to a child prodigy, a headstrong Jewish girl who at once possessed an exquisite imagination and a photographic memory. How perfectly natural it seemed to want to know more about her?Ç”her family, her upbringing, her future. Mr. Dorsett presents the reader with box seats from which to view the drama of Joy Davidman’s life.

And God Came In is not a religious book, at least not in the conventional sense of the word religious.” Approximately halfway through the book, Joy becomes a Christian. This is a rather unexpected turn of events, considering the dominant factors of her upbringing, not the least of which is her Jewish background. The description of her “conversion” is surprisingly brief and, perhaps for that reason, it is most powerful.

The point at which Joy Davidman embraces the Christian faith does not become a turning point in the overall tone of the book. Her decision is not couched in sanctimonious terminology, nor is it used as a soapbox sermon to convert the reader. The author conveys quite clearly the message that the heart need not?Ç”in fact, should not?Ç”be divorced from the intellect. The strength of his point is not in literary rhetoric, but in the telling of Joy Davidman’s story. It is the story of a woman of superior intellect and heartfelt passion. The reader may not choose to embrace the Christian faith, but may find him or herself questioning stereotypes in light of this exceptional woman.

Old photographs, interviews with family and countless friends, and a profound respect for the subject enable the author to bring life and movement to this biography. His succinct style is easy to read but not condescending, and the book should be read in one sitting in order to appreciate its full impact.

A selling point to some readers is that Joy Davidman eventually was married to C. S. Lewis, a prominent philologist and Christian writer. Lewis is perhaps best known by non-Christians for his series of children’s books entitled The Chronicles of Narnia. For those who may be curious about Joy Davidman’s husband after reading And God Came In, this reviewer suggests reading Mr. Lewis’s autobiography, entitled Surprised by Joy.


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Ruth Rosen | San Francisco

Newsletter Editor, Missionary

Ruth Rosen, daughter of Jews for Jesus founder Moishe Rosen, is a staff writer and editor with Jews for Jesus. Her parents raised her with a sense of Jewishness as well as "Jesusness." Ruth has a degree in biblical studies from Biola College in Southern California and has been part of our full-time staff since 1979. She's toured with Jewish gospel drama teams and participated in many outreaches. She writes and edits quite a few of our evangelistic resources, including many broadside tracts. One of her favorites is, "Who Needs Politics." Ruth also helps other Jewish believers in Jesus tell their stories. That includes her father, whose biography she authored in what she says was "one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life." For details, or to order your copy of Called to Controversy the Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen and the Founding of Jews for Jesus, visit our online store. Ruth also writes shorter "faith journey" stories in books like Jewish Doctors Meet the Great Physician as well as in booklets like From Generation to Generation: A Jewish Family Finds Their Way Home. She edits the Jews for Jesus Newsletter for Christians who want to pray for our ministry and our missionaries. In her spare time, Ruth enjoys writing fiction and playing with her dog, Annie whom she rescued. Ruth says, "Some people say that rescue dogs have issues, and that is probably true. If dogs could talk, they'd probably say that people have issues, and that is probably even more true. I'm glad that God is in the business of rescuing people, (and dogs) despite—or maybe because of—all our issues." You can follow Ruth Rosen on facebook or as RuthARosen on twitter.

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