Thursday, October 26, 2006

The world's best-selling book, minus the main character

I think modern, secular Western culture doesn't quite know what to do with God. We have two millennia of Christianity's undeniable influence and yet, in intellectual circles anyway, we have banished him or explained him away.

Perhaps this is part of the thinking behind The Honey and the Fires: Ancient Stories retold for our Times.

It's "a modern, secular retelling of some of the most powerful stories from the Bible", according to its publisher the ABC.

On one hand, I'm pleased. People who may otherwise ignore the immense spiritual and cultural heritage available in the Bible will get a glimpse of the exciting tales told between its covers.

On the other hand, something very important is missing here. God!

It begs the question: can you have the Bible without God? And in many places the author, playwright Roger Pulver, does a beautiful God. But the heroes of the Bible included here: Joseph, Daniel, Esther ... all did their acts of courage because of a belief and a relationship with their Creator.

Mixed feelings. But the best thing you can say about anything is that it makes you think. It makes me think, how often have I tried to live life without God - it appears a lot less complicated, after all!

But inevitably his Reality comes crashing into my life, full of grace and mercy. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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