Irreverence and Irrelevance
Over the course of the past couple of weeks, I have read two books that have their fun with the Christian faith in a way that is more entertaining than spiritual, more legalistic than gracious, and more disheartening than enlightening. The book that took me longer was A.J. Jacobs’ The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, a memoir of a writer’s year researching and attempting to follow all the Bible’s laws by his own effort. He tries to act spiritual and goes through the motions, but he does it from an academic perspective. He’s looking for cultural Jewish and Christian practices, not God. Reading this reminded me and revealed to me some parts of the Bible that I hadn’t really contemplated, but overall, his agnosticism comes off as pure selfishness.
Additionally, I read a fictional text that was very difficult to make heads of – The Book of Harold: The Illegitimate Son of God . This text makes a mockery of religion and faith. In it, an every day man suddenly claims to be God and develops a following through the irrationality of his actions. The narrative structure is interesting to me from a literary standpoint. The narrator is consistent (a former co-worker, follower, and hater of Harold’s irreverent theology) relates different events over the course of the book in short chapters that jump from place to place and incident to incident. The book is depressing and leaves little room for hope. It tries to show the irrationality of faith as well as the dangers it poses to people who are deeply committed to ideas that defy common sense.
These books, as well as my preoccupations with the future, have left me less inspired than usual lately. I haven’t made too many crafts, haven’t cooked too many creative dishes. I’ve got the duplex to myself right now, and the quietness is getting to me a bit. The book on Solitude lies in my “to read” stack of books. I don’t think I’m ready for it quite yet. I found myself with extra time and tried to be creative with my food preparation. I made some bread dough in my bread machine , which I took out and baked as rolls, marinated some chicken, and mixed a bunch of veggies in a small pot on the stove. It looks like more of an autumn meal, but with the weather barely pushing 65 degrees. Rolls, veggies, and meat for me. Tomorrow, it’s back to work.