The thing I don’t like about guides to religion or books for the agnostic is that they usually end up being a history of religion in general, as if the point were an intellectual exercise in “what has gone before” and “where we are now.” Maybe that’s what appeals to agnostics, but I don’t think so – what we look for is the faith without the unintelligible dogma. Listen to me, talking about agnostics as though we had a club. Hmm. I wonder if we do.
Anyway, in the interest of giving myself something to think about for my first trip to church, I’m reading God: A Guide for the Perplexed. It ought to be marvelous, but unfortunately it reads a bit like a text on religion for intelligent eighth-graders. It’s not so much simplistic as it is chirpy and just shy of condescending, which is tragic because the author clearly has the same sort of confusion about religion that I do.
Unfortunately, too, my copy of the book, which I bought in some excitement a few weeks ago at a used book store, smells faintly of mold. This is rough on a book lover. Curse you, bookstore, and your interference with my spiritual development!
On a more positive note, the best book I’ve ever read on the subject of figuring out faith is Working on God. Fantastic, creative, thoughtful stuff.