Sunday, April 26, 2015

Belief In God Stains Everything

Detroit Institute of Art

One of the best books I've read in the past two years is by agnostic writer Julian Barnes - Nothing To Be Frightened Of. Barnes is an excellent, beautiful writer. This was a book I could not put down, and which elicited much feeling in me.

Even though Barnes does not believe in God he finds himself longing for God. He is blunt about certain liberal Christian ideas of God (e.g., deistic thinking). Barnes understands that if God exists, this reality will shape all of life. He writes:

“There seems little point in a religion which is merely a weekly social event (apart, of course, from the normal pleasures of a weekly social event), as opposed to one which tells you exactly how to live, which colors and stains everything.” (64). Barnes asks: “What’s the point of faith unless you and it are serious — seriously serious — unless your religion fills, directs, stains and sustains your life?” (81)

The only religion worth embracing is one which stains everything.