Choose Mystery over Certainty
Selmanovic writes bravely. At one point, after working non-stop, Selmanovic's wife asks him if his ministry is really just "all about you," a brave point to recount, and from whence the book title comes. He's impressive as he speaks about religious traditions, even to a talk-radio station "ready to take the city for Jesus," a year after 9/11. He writes of atheists as allies in faith, referring to them as "God's whistleblowers." Brave, as he enlists Soo, a Korean Wiccan woman, to pray for a gathered national network of conservative Christian men.
In many ways, Selmanovic returns to his upbringing, which highly valued life and others, with a faith that opens the borders to others of varying faith traditions and/or no tradition at all. "Other religions can challenge (or at least help us see) the idols we create because they expand the whole territory of knowing."
There will be those who do not know how to take this book, what to do with a writer like Selmanovic, who can bridge worlds as he does. He urges readers to choose mystery over certainty, in relationship to God. He writes, "Every truth is dependent on a story, and every theology is biography." This book shares Selmanovic's biographical theology, it's a memoir of a man trying to do right by God and community, and mustering the courage to do both.
I await the sequel.
Susan Baller-Shepard is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of www.spiritualbookclub.com. She is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), has pastored churches in Springfield, Peoria, and Rochester, Illinois, and is currently a parish associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Normal, Illinois. Her
writing has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Spirituality & Health magazine, Writer's Digest magazine, Church & Society, denominational publications, www.rhinopoetry.org, and in anthologies by Outrider Press.