ForeWord Reviews

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Suprised by Oxford

Foreword Review

Carolyn Weber arrived at Oxford University intent on attaining her master’s degree in literature. But by the time she left the British institution, she had explored more than just the thoughts and feelings of long-ago authors of the Romance period. She had explored her own thoughts and feelings—about her past, present, and future—and opened her mind and heart to the possibilities of finding real meaning in relationships both human and divine that she had not considered possible.

After being awarded a full scholarship, Weber leaves behind more than her home as she heads across the ocean. She leaves her broken relationship with her father, her patient fiancé, and her loving mother, brother, and sister. The months ahead would prove to reshape her thoughts and feelings about all of them, primarily because her agnostic worldview would be radically altered.

Early in her first semester, Weber encountered a student unlike any man she had known. His easy charm, calm spirit, and steadfast faith were unsettling to her at first. Something about TDH (Tall, Dark and Handsome) intrigued her, and after a few conversations she realized his faith in Jesus Christ was something she wanted to pursue, albeit slowly and cautiously, as she sorted out various life questions in her mind.

As her life became more focused on learning about Jesus and what it really meant to be His follower, she relied on candid conversations with many of her friends—both believers and non-believers—to help her in her search for truth. Her growing realization of her need to commit her life to Christ led to some difficult decisions, such as ending her engagement with her fiancé when he admitted he was not ready to accept her new beliefs. Wise, godly professors, close friends, and especially TDH gave her the encouragement and counsel she needed to help her on her journey of faith.

Weber displays her knowledge and love of literature by interspersing passages from several authors throughout her conversations and musings. Her warm, sincere style allows her to gently guide the reader through her journey of faith in Christ without appearing to be preachy or condemning. Surprised by Oxford presents one person’s search for God and the amazing life transformation when the search is over. Weber has crafted a memorable recounting of her conversion and the winding road of questions and experiences that led to her decision based on the answers she found in the greatest piece of literature—the Word of God.

Jeff Friend