Sunday, July 25, 2010

a book review

divine nobodies: shedding religion to find God [and the unlikely people who help you]
by jim palmer

Divine Nobodies commences with two must-read introductions (with grim warnings to anyone who would skip them). In introducing us to himself, the author is revealed to be an ordinary, if somewhat quirky, guy. His life hasn’t been ideal, and neither has he. With good humor – but sincerity, he catches the interest of the reader. The rest of the book follows some of his journey from formal Christianity and religion to discovering God for himself. He describes his battle with depression, failings, and confusion about faith – and his ultimate acceptance of the truth that we can’t be good enough. Many failures of the church and professing Christians are exposed by their lack of ability to help the hurting and imperfect people of the world. This book is a challenge to step out of your comfort zone when it comes to helping others. It is also a challenge to stop confining a radical faith to formal religion and your own perception.

I don’t agree with everything the author advocates, and I certainly don’t view the book as absolute truth. At the same time, the author hits many points very accurately, and causes the reader to think. It should be enjoyable for anyone ready to be offended, change, and pursue a faith not caught up in religion or the status quo.

This book is written straightforwardly, and is interesting all the way through. It isn’t simply a set of ideas – it is a set of personal experiences. Anyone who starts it will find it compulsively readable.

Ogden Nash

Of Ogden Nash

The top flight modern satirist…the man who dislikes all the things that most of us dislike but manages to be hilariously articulate about them. – Boston Herald

I discovered the poet Ogden Nash in a literature book, and subsequently found a book of his at our local library. Some of my favorites of his are the short verses on animals.

To quote a few here:

The rhino is a homely beast,
For human eyes he’s not a feast.
Farwell, farewell, you old rhinoceros,
I’ll stare at something less prepocerous

The firefly’s flame
Is something for which science has no name.
I can think of nothing eerier
Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a person’s posteerier.

Some primal termite knocked on wood
And tasted it, and found it good,
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.

Any hound a porcupine nudges
Can’t be blamed for harboring grudges.
I know one hound that laughed all winter
At a porcupine that sat on a splinter.