Thursday, November 5, 2009

God Is. My Search for Faith in a Secular World by David Adams Richards

Award-winning New Brunswick author David Adams Richards has been asked if he is a Christian. This book (he describes it as a polemic) is his answer. "Faith is important because all of mankind's other concerns are actually unsolvable without faith - and great faith." He insists that faith is part of our make-up and that even atheists know the presence of God, even though they won't admit it. I wasn't convinced about the atheists, but I agreed with other things that he said, like: "Goodness, simplicity and truth are what everyone seeks in others and wars against in themselves." I, too, believe in God - although my idea of God is not the same as that described by Christians.

I've rejected the traditional notions of sin and the devil along with my Catholic upbringing, but when Richards calls them 'wrongdoing' and a 'condition,' then I can go along with his arguments. "To commit a crime or even murder because so-and-so has harmed you is in some way to rationalize one wrongdoing as sin and the other as justified." When he was younger, his circle of drinking acquaintances included murderers. "Murder is the sublime anti-miracle. The taking of life is, in a way, the miracle of people who refuse to believe life is a miracle, or at least have registered their superiority to people who believe such foolish things."

He writes openly about experiences that have confirmed his faith in God. He decries self-righteousness, mob behaviour, misplaced moral outrage, and people who ridicule what they secretly fear. He quotes Einstein, who said "Christianity will never be explained away by a smart remark." Richards has written a thought-provoking look at ethics and morality.

No comments: