Chris’s review of The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
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Aug 31, 2008 12:18PM
I think A.J. Jacobs is pretty typical of most people who 'need' to be converted, in that as an agnostic, accepting Jesus as your savior is almost a mental impossibility. Not because of hatred for the Bible or stubborness, but just because of common sense. I don't mean that in an insulting kind of way. If you beleive in God, good for you: you believe in God.
But if you don't believe in God, its hard to just...make yourself believe. It would be like argueing with a teenage girl that Hannah Montana is not really the apex of musical artistry. No matter what teenage logic she employs, my adult experiences tell me otherwise. Likewise, my adult logic will never be able to penetrate what she deepdown knows is a fundamental truth: that Hannah Montana is AWESOME!!
Okay, that was probably a little insulting to compare Christians to immature teenage girls, but I hope you can look past the condescension to get my point.
There is nothing a Christian can say to me to convince me that God is real. You can point out all the scripture you want, tell me about all the personal stories and anecdotes you deem appropriate, but my (and I assume Jacobs') frame of belief just can't allow for God, who just doesn't make sense.
Which to me, makes this book all the more remarkable. Someone who doesn't, and quite possibly can't, believe in God, picks up the Bible and decides to give it a chance; to take it seriously for a year and see what happens. The only way he can see it is as a Rule Book, as again, actually developing a relationship with God is something of which he's not capable.
I think Jacobs comes as close to being converted as any Agnostic can be. I believe he ends up calling himself a "Reverent Agnostic", which I think is a good sign that not every unbeliever is 'evil', but that we are thoughtful, empathetic, and respectful people.
Thanks for the thoughtful and even-handed review.
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