This book was published in 2006 and I was intrigued by it. When a friend at church recommended it to the leadership, and thought everyone should read it, I was even more intrigued.
This book, written by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, spent three years on the New York Times Bestseller list. It is the story of an unlikely friendship. A friendship that crossed barriers, prejudices.
Ron Hall is a white man. He grew up poor, found a job as an investment banker, and then moved to owning his own company. He became an international art dealer.
Denver Moore is a black man, born to sharecroppers. Living one step ahead of starvation and then later one step ahead of the law. Homeless.
Deborah Hall brought these men together through her love for Jesus Christ. She volunteered to serve at the Union Gospel Mission where the homeless would go to get a meal and hear about Jesus. Denver came. He resisted the friendship Debbie offered, resisted the friendship Ron offered.
But he couldn't resist the friendship Jesus offered.
Tragedy struck. Denver was sure Ron would release him from their friendship. Ron was just as sure he wouldn't.
This is their story.
I am not entirely sure how to write my review. The book was good. It was great to see the world through their eyes, to see each other as they saw the other. I realized anew that prejudice and racism have no skin color. No one has a corner on that market. I learned it's an easy trap to fall into.
I give this book 4.5 turning pages.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher (Thomas Nelson) for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.
The Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore is a book one of my book clubs read earlier this year, but I missed that particular meeting. From what I heard, all of them loved it, so I'm kinda glad I didn't have a chance to talk about it - I really didn't care for it at all.
The actual plot was interesting, but the characters did not feel authentic. I found myself rolling my eyes more than once and feeling frustrated that the powerful white man was portrayed as such a better Christian than anyone else. Not cool. I just didn't feel this one.
"Same Kind of Different As Me" is a collaboration, the tale of how two very different lives intersect. Told in the first person, authors Ron Hall and Denver Moore take the reader on a journey of their lives, both individual and corporate. Both were raised in the South, but with one being white and the other black, their experiences were vastly different. Moore grew up a sharecropper. It was all he knew until one day he hopped a train, did some traveling, and eventually settled in Fort Worth, Texas. Homeless and angry, he finds his way to the Union Gospel Mission. Hall grew up lower-middle class, but worked his way up in life to become an art dealer. His wife, Deborah, began to feel a call on her life to serve the homeless at the Union Gospel Mission. Hall went along half-heartedly, but eventually felt his heart begin to change the more they served. It was through their volunteer work at the mission that Hall and Moore met. Despite the major outward differences, they strike a friendship--one that has endured through the years.
This book presents so many issues for the reader to wrestle with. Poverty, homelessness (and the response to it), sickness and death. I found Moore's portion of the book fascinating to read because of his life experience. Not being able to relate, I found it extremely helpful to see things from a different perspective. Hall was a little more difficult to read through. Before he met Moore, he came across as a bit self-absorbed and materialistic. That changed, however, once he became serious about his faith and befriended Moore.
This is a wonderful book to help tear down stereotypes. So many themes of this book remain so relevant and are worthy of further discussion. There is a discussion section at the back of the book, which makes it perfect for individual reflections or for a small group discussion. This is an important book that would be a great starting point for thinking critically about issues like poverty, homelessness, and a proper response to both.
(Ive received this complimentary book through the BookLook program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
What a wonderful moving story of the difference that faith in our God can make in our lives and the lives of others around us . I am so glad that I ordered the book and have given it to others to read and they enjoyed it as much as I did .