“True religion comes from the heart. It is a deep relationship with God, and should bring peace and joy and love to people, not fear and guilt and meanness. And worship has meaning only when it is free. God is not honored by worship that is forced under threat of sin or penalty. Nor is God honored by subservient obedience to religious laws devoid of love. God is pleased only by the free expression of the soul that truly loves Him. Anything less is counterfeit and serves only the short-term needs of religious institutions.” Joshua clearly expresses his points of view on religion in the book Joshua: A Parable for Today written by Joseph F. Girzone. This quote is significant to the book because this book challenges, or solidifies, your faith. It proves that maybe there is more to today’s religion than just going to church and following rules. This book is a wake-up call to “self-serving” christians. The story start off when a carpenter, Joshua, moves into the tiny town of Auburn. He is immediately accepted, which is unheard of for a newcomer, and is favored by all. Joshua is what every girl dreams of and what every man wants to be. But when Joshua starts voicing his views on religious matters and starts attending Jewish services along with the different denominations of Christian ones, some people start to get upset. The priest of the Catholic church in town tells Joshua he is no longer aloud to speak to his people, much less attend the mass. Joshua is heart-broken; these religious leaders don’t even have a heart for God. The main character in the book is Joshua. Joshua is a very different man and views life from all aspects and is so close to God. He is kind and gentle. He shows this by how he treats the people of Auburn. Joshua is friendly and peaceful. He is a hero to the children, and a friend to the men and women. Father Kavanaugh, the priest of the Catholic church in Auburn, requested Joshua’s presence one day. After angrily speaking to Joshua, Father Kavanaugh dismissed him. The next day something happens to Father Kavanaugh. He is dumbstruck. He learns that sometimes people are more important than mere laws and rules. The book Joshua, has a movie created from it. The movie portrays the characters so well it is like you are in the little town of Auburn. So whether you read the book or enjoy the movie, Joshua is sure to be a quick favorite. Joshua presents the story of Jesus under a new spectrum. It humanizes and brings him to the current day. The language and structure is simple and the story flows with an easy-going familiarity. The author allows space for the reader to fill the blanks and for the action to describe the thoughts of the characters. You do not need to be Catholic/Christian to enjoy the book. The essence is similar to many stories in the Bible, but at the same time, they can be the scenes of any current fictional book. The book starts with a good description of the town in which the story is taking place. As well as, with a quick overview of some characters and their impression about Joshua.Girzone describes Joshua more as a small town celebrity than a religious persona. He stood up from the rest of the village people because of his stimulating conversations and refreshing ideas. By the end of the book Joshua was suffering a similar prosecution that was suffered 2000 years ago. Unfortunately, the town residents did not appreciate the time with him until he vanished. A mysterious but wise and humble man spends three months in the small town of Auburn and his presence causes people to examine their religion and incites unrest among religious leaders. Our discussion primarily focused on the things we would have liked to be different about the book. We were not overly impressed by the writing style, which came across as the author trying too hard. Some of the scenarios in the book we found to be unrealistic or not plausible and that distracted us a bit. Overall, we enjoyed hearing the message of the book, but we felt that it was stated over and over again with nothing new to add each time. In fact, we thought that this novel would best be packaged in a shorter version as a short story and it would have the same, if not more, impact. The novel was not lengthy by any means, but the lack of a real story line made it slightly less interesting. We were intrigued by the author’s idea of what Jesus would be like in modern times. At times, we sort of disagreed with his portrayal but recognized that this work of fiction was his vision of what might happen. One particular occurrence in the book that we all liked was when the two religious leaders who commissioned Joshua to make wooden sculptures for their respective churches ended up swapping sculptures twice and the implications that said about them as well as Joshua’s plan for them. Overall, we appreciated the message of this book but were slightly disappointed about the impact it had on us. When Joshua moves to a small cabin on the edge of town, the local people are mystified by his presence. A quiet and simple man, Joshua appears to seek nothing for himself. He supports himself by working as a carpenter. He charges very little for his services, yet his craftsmanship is exquisite. The statue of Moses that he carves for the local synagogue prompts amazement as well as consternation. What are the townsfolk to make of this enigmatic stranger? Some people report having seen him carry a huge cherry log on his shoulders effortlessly. Still others talk about the child in a poor part of town who was dreadfully ill but, after Joshua's visit, recovered completely. Despite his benevolence and selfless work in the community, some remain suspicious. Finally, in an effort to address the community's doubts, the local religious leaders confront Joshua.Did you understand that Joshua is Jesus? The Joshua books start with the premise, what if Jesus had been born in the 20th Century instead of 2,000 years ago? Where would He have gone? Who are the people who would have followed Him? How would He teach today? Would He tell the same parables using the same examples, or would his stories be different? When Joshua moves to a small cabin on the edge of town, the local people are mystified by his presence. A quiet and simple man, Joshua appears to seek nothing for himself. He supports himself by working as a carpenter. He charges very little for his services, yet his craftsmanship is exquisite. The statue of Moses that he carves for the local synagogue prompts amazement as well as consternation. What are the townsfolk to make of this enigmatic stranger? Some people report having seen him carry a huge cherry log on his shoulders effortlessly. Still others talk about the child in a poor part of town who was dreadfully ill but, after Joshua's visit, recovered completely. Despite his benevolence and selfless work in the community, some remain suspicious. Finally, in an effort to address the community's doubts, the local religious leaders confront Joshua. Joshua is a woodcarver. He is a humble guy, but with a rich inner life. He is a well-balanced person, with a physical strength beyond the ordinary, but with gentleness that shows polish and refinement. He has a profound mind and inner beauty. Joshua is physically attractive: tall, slim and athletic, his elegant figure radiates a carefree grace. His blue-green eyes are striking in the deep feeling they express. When he looks at you, you have the feeling he is looking into your soul. His walnut-colored hair is thick and wavy, and gathers about his ears and neck. He possesses a grace that is charming, but when one comes to know him more intimately, all that seems to pale next to the richness and depth of personality which radiates from him.