Monday, 14 July 2014

UNAPOLOGETIC (book)

Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising emotional senseUnapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising emotional sense by Francis Spufford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


BOOK DESCRIPTION: But it isn't an argument that Christianity is true - because how could anyone know that (or indeed its opposite)? It's an argument that Christianity is recognisable, drawing on the deep and deeply ordinary vocabulary of human feeling, satisfying those who believe in it by offering a ruthlessly realistic account of the bits of our lives advertising agencies prefer to ignore. It's a book for believers who are fed up with being patronised, for non-believers curious about how faith can possibly work in the twenty-first century, and for anyone who feels there is something indefinably wrong, literalistic, anti-imaginative and intolerant about the way the atheist case is now being made. Fresh, provoking and unhampered by niceness, this is the long-awaited riposte to the smug emissaries of New Atheism.

MY REVIEW: You’ve heard of something being a breath of fresh air. Well... this book is like standing in the middle of a thunderstorm, wind trying to push you over, rain slamming into your face. It’s stunning. The author, Francis Spufford, pulls no punches and rips through the bullshit that often attends the debates around the Christianity/atheist divide. I love the fact that the author is raw and earthy, using language that’s right on the edge of decency to get his point across. For example, he defines sin as ‘The human potential to fuck things up’. Haven’t heard it defined in quite that way before - but it certainly expresses the point articulately. Spufford does not, of course, use coarse language like this all the time. That would just make the language bland and superficial. Even when he is using ‘normal’ language, his descriptions, turns of phrases, alternative perspectives, analogies, metaphors are surprising, refreshing, and often confronting. This book is not for the fluffy, rigid, fundamentalist - Christian or atheist. It’s for those who are pissed off with the run-of-the-mill, intellectualised, defensive, avoiding, unrealistic, detached-from-reality inanity the plagues debates around religion. I loved it and am now cleaning up after the brain-cleansing storm!

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