Jason T. Berggren, |
10 Things I Hate About Christianity
(X Media, 2009)
Well, with a title like that, this book will surely get noticed, and I suppose that is the first rule of publishing. The "anti" lobby will reach for it looking for justification, while the "pro" groups will get it to check it out to try and refute it.
So, to avoid confusion, I'll state from the start the author is using rhetoric here. Like thousands who went before him, Jason T. Berggren preaches the message by looking initially at the obverse of his beliefs, then working through the arguments to turn that initial thought on its head.
As anyone who has ever believed in a cause, a religion or even a person will agree, there are times when that belief is tested. No belief that is never tested is worth having. If you believe in God and things never go against you, where is the challenge? If you love a person and they constantly agree with you, wonÕt you get bored?
Berggren is not your average preacher. He does not look the part and he does not write the part. He challenges not just the reader but the faith, and in so doing he attempts to win over one and solidify the other.
The chapter headings cover everything from "Faith through Love" and "Hell" to "Church." In all of these he confronts the reader with real-life dilemmas, but not necessarily major, life-changing ones. In "Sin," for example, he presents us with a situation every one of us has encountered. You buy an item and a genuine error is made in the charge. The clerk is too busy or disinterested to notice, but you do. The loser will be a big chain store; do you pocket the change and walk away or do you point out the error? Christianity is clear. A sin is a sin is a sin. That is what can make people hate Christianity.
10 Things I Hate About Christianity will challenge you like this through the range of topics, and I suppose only after reading it can you answer the question of whether you hate these things about Christianity or about yourself. This is a thought-provoking book that could be very useful in group discussion, not just about the religion but about morality and our understanding of society.
13 June 2009
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