Book Review: “Coffee, the World and Jesus…”

Posted by Susan On September 29, 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Sometimes there are stories attached to the way we end up finding really great books– and this is definitely one of those stories. Of course, I could say that it was ultimately God’s divine providence, which I’m sure it was… but the circumstances sure seemed random enough at the time.

It all started a couple of weeks ago, when Dan and I met a very interesting and animated couple, Ron and Tina DeMiglio, relative to our business. At the beginning of our meeting, by way of introduction Ron handed Dan a copy of a book he had recently written, called “Coffee, the World, and Jesus -but not necessarily in that order.”

Should I admit it?… Initially, I was skeptical. After all, with a title like, “Coffee, the World, and Jesus…” what would you expect it to be? “Oh boy…” I thought, “… is this another one of the ‘we don’t believe in church– we meet in bars or cafes, love each other, and call it good’ books?” We thanked him, and I politely pocketed the book, with every intention of scanning it when I got home.

The “Jesus” part of the title, however, definitely got our attention, and it opened the door to the fact that they were Christians, as we were. Consequently, our time together was extremely interesting, fun, enlightening… and that particular meeting ended up being much longer than either of us had anticipated. We discussed business, yes, but the conversation kept drifting into multiple other directions! There was just so much to talk about!

It was late by the time we left, so Dan and I went out for some dinner, and when we finally got home, I opened the book…and discovered, to my incredible surprise, that I could hardly put it down!

Ron is a businessman, and he’s a Christian. For 25 years, he has worked in the coffee industry and has traveled the world to places like Japan, Egypt, Greece, Panama, China, Columbia, Germany, Holland… Wherever he goes, he is driven by a deep faith in Jesus Christ that infiltrates his life. In “Coffee, the World, and Jesus-but not necessarily in that order,” Ron begins each chapter with hilarious stories of his travels, then uses each story as a platform to expand the understanding of our faith and its application to real life.

The travel stories are fascinating, the theology is deep, and the book is impacting. Convicting. Thought-provoking. It challenges the placid comfort of the typical American evangelical… and yet the rebuke is delivered with such clever wit that it’s totally palatable! Seriously– this book brings a whole new meaning to “LOL!” At times, tears were literally rolling down my face and my stomach was hurting from laughing so hard out loud. Dare I say that this might be the “Pat McManus of Theology?” Ron’s brilliant one-liners just keep on coming!

In a deep, personal way, the book is of particular interest to me as I have recently been pondering this exact idea of how our faith ought to be lived out in the business world. Too often, Christians inadvertently slide into a dichotomy, where our faith applies to some areas of life but not others. It’s easy to exercise our faith at home, in our churches, in our private devotional lives… but what about the rest of it? Is being a business owner the call of God on one’s life just as surely as being a pastor or an elder is? And if so, what’s it supposed to look like? How is our faith supposed to be lived out among the unsaved people we rub shoulders with… in our conversations and interactions with those around us who don’t “speak the same language” or have the same points of reference that we have? In different cultures or settings?

In “Coffee, the World and Jesus…” the author hits these issues head on.

And by the way– if you’re prone to re-reading really good books like I am, you’re in luck! This is one of those books. There’s such a wealth of sound biblical instruction that it’ll take several turns to fully embrace it all. Yay!

As I usually do when I discover a really great book, I plan to give quite a few copies of the book to various family and friends. (Shhh…. Don’t tell them. Christmas is coming.) Seriously, if you love Jesus, travel, sound theology, the joys of running your own business, or side-spitting brilliant humor… “Coffee, the World and Jesus” is the book you really don’t want to miss.


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