Monday, June 16, 2008

A rainy day in France...

Greetings from La Belle France! I wasn't expecting to have internet access here but I have for the moment. And it's raining, so I thought I'd blog a bit.

I finished John Gray's Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia yesterday. What a fantastic book! I've been an admirer of Gray's since hearing him at the London institute for Contemprary Christianity soon after his Straw Dogs was published. He was provocative and very interesting.

Well, Black Mass doesn't disappoint. It's a surgical strike against the secularist myth, against the notion that any kind of utopia - such as the neo-con dream of democracy for all - can be achieved. More than that, it is a startling and brilliant analysis of the roots of all such utopian thinking in the Christian story. His assertion that secularism is a product of Christian eschatology minus God is rather wonderful. And he demolishes the arguments of secularism's heroes with panache and gusto.

It should be said that he is no particular friend of religion. But he is astute enough to see that religion answers an innate and deep human need and therefore has to be accommodated in whatever society we try to create.

I found the book wonderfully stimulating and provocative. I shall blog about it further when I've had time to process it.

I'm also reading Leonard Sweet's The Gospel According to Starbucks which is a terrfiic restatement of his EPIC theory of living in relation to coffee. As well as offering a truly attractive picture of how the followers of Jesus should live, he offers all sorts of fascinating facts about coffee. What more could you ask?

No comments: