Melody
Melody asked:

I am half way through and am feeling that maybe this isn't a book for a non-christian. What do you think?

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Jim H I don't think the story is necessarily Christian. I find it to be a refreshingly respectful portrayal of a person with Christian beliefs that never panders and never intrudes with a liberal-humanist perspective. It does portray him as somewhat bigoted and naive but on the whole very sincere about his faith. I think it's a very good exercise in understanding Christians whether you are one or not.
Lobstergirl Is Pride and Prejudice only for British people of the early 19th century? This book is just a story, about people. Yes, the main character is a Christian missionary, and we hear a lot about his faith, but if these things are strange to you or you disagree with them, do you only read books about things you are already familiar with or agree with? This is a book for anyone. You don't have to like it, but yes, it is for any reader, whether they have a faith or no faith.
Amy Sedivy I'm an atheist and thoroughly enjoyed this book. Perhaps I looked at the Christianity with a skeptical eye - even a judgmental eye! But I was fascinated by the main character and his struggle to remain humble, even as he felt like becoming a Jesus figure. I guess it depends on your attitude as you approach the book. I did NOT feel like Farber was preaching, but I thought he was exploring the mind and life of a man who was working hard to be devout.
Wayong Weiss I thought that Michel Faber wasn't Christian...
None of his other books had a Christian theme; he has mostly written historic novels for adults & a few fantasy books for middle-grade readers. (Then again, the author, N.D. Wilson,of the 100 Cupboards trilogy & Basilisk has written Xtian fantasy subsequently. And His Dark Materials had some Christian themes, but I didn't find it didactic & adored Pullman's & Wilson's books)

From what I understand, in Faber's novel,the focus is on the 'Old Testement'. I have very little knowledge in the Christian Bible-- the New Testement, but being Jewish & Pagan, I have studied the Tanach ((which includes the Torah (similar to Old Testement, but different)).

I have a similar question as Melody; I don't take issue w/Christian themes & a minister as a main character, but I don't have much interest in didactic & preachy language & a very black & white perspective of good & evil (that doesn't evolve).

Let us know if anyone has gives a recommendation or not considering our ethnic/religious/spiritual (or agnostic) backgrounds.

I know that this book, along w/'Station Eleven' & 'The Bone Clocks' are the among the 'big books' of the year, so I'm curious-- but reading it is a huge time commitment!
Melody I am not a christian and am unlikely to find a church that would be open-minded enough for me but I don't have bitter feelings about the many kind, thoughtful christians out there. I just thought this would be more about encountering a different culture. I find the ministers internal dialogue... sappy.
Marcel I see what you mean. I certainly struggled with this.

The hero and his wife are portrayed as radical believers - never good no matter the religion - who, in parts seem to go about their missionary business in quite manipulative and ignorant ways (the way they are trying to subtly scheme to bring up Christ in certain discussions, the way she is trying to convert a muslim women and then arrogantly judges her and does not even consider the danger of her actions).
I won't even go into the issue of converting the aliens - even if they ask for it.

While all this is fine as one might argue that Faber presents characters for us to discuss and ponder about (as we do here :) ) I cannot shake the
feeling that some readers will take a pro Christian message from this book, and that I cannot accept, considering some of the topics brought up.

It's a bit like writing an outwardly racist book, just to claim it is Satire. But one is never really sure whether it is...
Keith Akers No. Secularists will handle it just fine. There's no specific reference to God communicating with any of the characters, revelations from heaven, or anything like that. Religious but non-Christian people can treat Peter's dilemmas as representing that faced by all religious people, not just Christians.
Lenka Příplatová I identify myself with the New Atheist movement and I have actually enjoyed the book. It is about two people who love each other, but are finding themeselves in so completely different worlds, that they cannot understand each other anymore, although they desperately want to. I wouldn't mind if one of them was a muslim missionary or a wiccan. I don't remember the need to be a Victorian-era British prostitute to enjoy The Crimson Petal and the White either ;)
Cindy
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