Sunday, 25 November 2007
The Ultimate Guide
The ultimate guide to Biblical living... why didn't someone write this book long ago?
And why oh why is it classified under "humor" instead of "religion"?
We're talking about The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs.
Here's this bloke - a secular Jewish journalist - living in the Big Bad Apple and writing for Esquire, who decides to live the Bible way for a year. Out go the clothes with mixed fabrics, in comes tithing (though he spreads his largess among legitimate charities rather than delusional televangelists), while he wonders how to apply all those ghastly proverbs about whacking your kids to his exuberant three year old. This is literalism as few of us have known it, not even Tom Mahon and Robert the Berean Messenger. You just have to sympathize with his long-suffering wife!
And it's hilarious; which should tell us all something. There's an entertaining radio feature on the book on NPR.
Here's a book to relish over the long summer break (or for those of you in the other hemisphere, those long winter evenings.) Quirky and profound in equal measure, with cameo appearances from Amish, Mormon Polygamists, Samaritans, Creationists and a host of others. Regrettably, WCG only gets mentioned once, and only in passing, but that's probably a mercy for all concerned.