So here’s me, a Christian uncomfortable with Christianity, other Christians and most especially books published for Christians. When my mother gave me this book to read, I started it dutifully but didn’t necessarily expect to enjoy or finish it. Happily, I was very wrong. But then, it wasn’t written especially for Christians, either.
Speaking of Faith by Krista Tippett For the uninitiated, Tippett is the host of the NPR show with the same name, which I am not up early enough of a Sunday to listen to. In the show, I hear, she interviews people whom she feels have spiritual wisdom to share, of all religions and none. In the book, Tippett explores the meaning of faith, finding middle ground between the poles of various religions, non-believers and believers. It includes her personal faith journey, plus conversations with many people. She talks the power of faith in everyday life and talks about “thick faith”, complex and woven into life, as opposed to “thin” faith, which is superficial and fanatic. Tippett discusses religion as a container for spirituality where both have value, the power of mysteries and the importance of trying to discuss them, and the forgotten value of virtue. She looks at what we can do to stop poverty and suffering and the role that faith and hope play in this struggle. It was a very difficult book to do justice to in a short review, but I found it profoundly meaningful. It definitely looks most closely at the three monotheistic religions and Buddhism, so those who fall outside of those camps may find it more difficult to relate to. This is a powerful yet gentle book, small drops of arguments adding up to a river of persuasion in support of faith.