Book Review: People in Glass Houses: An Insider’s Story of a Life In and Out of Hillsong
Every week, thousands of churchgoers all around the world sing praise and worship choruses written by Hillsong. The tunes are catchy, inspirational and very singalongable (do you like that word?) Many people have also purchased their CDs to listen to at home and in the car. As for me and my house, we have three of their CDs and one of their music books. We’ve listened to the CDs many times, but the music book was a tad overambitious for someone of my musical abilities.
Other than knowing that Hillsong is one of the biggest mega-churches in Australia, being able to sing some of their songs and recognising some of the songwriters’ names, I really do not know much else.
Tanya Levin’s book sets out to be a tell-all or exposé on the inner workings of Hillsong church. At the same time, she tries to show the hypocrisy of fundamentalist Pentecostal Christianity. She talks about her life and shares how much religion played; it varied: sometimes it played a huge role, other times not at all. She writes about her encounters with the people within the church – leaders as well as the other members – and their experiences with the church and fundamentalism/Pentecostalism.
I found the book confusing at times because I had a hard time trying to keep all the names straight. Other times, she would start talking about a different aspect of the church and she would rewind the clock a bit, but I had no idea that she had done so until a few pages into her story. Some of her insights on the inadequacies of fundamentalism resonated with me; other parts, not so much.
This book will probably be interesting and relevant to people who have more than a casual acquaintance with Hillsong and think it might be nice to read some juicy gossip for a change. Otherwise, give it a miss.