Faith Stories

Ours is the decade of memoirs, especially faith memoirs. I think of Anne Lamott’s uproarious and serious stories, but many are following her path to tell the honest-to-goodness of one’s life. I think of Susan Isaac’s genuine, sometimes heart-breaking and other times just leg-slapping funny, personal memoir called Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir
. Susan is an actress and writer, has appeared on Seinfeld, and has a story to tell. 

 The kind that makes you glad you’re a Christian and wish that more of us could tell the truthfulness that lies deep inside.
Anyway, Susan’s relationship with God was so bad she knew “they” (she and God) had to see a therapist to work things out. Hence, her story which combines both simple and clear prose as well as some screen writing of her own one-person act. 
I heard Susan in Orlando and had the unenviable task of following her. It was a hard “act” to follow because her story was so draining to hear. If I were a college chaplain I’d have her on campus to perform her story.
The best compliment I can give to this book is that Kris swiped it from me and wouldn’t let me read it until she was done, and she took her sweet time to savor the book. Susan wrote inside mine and said, “Keep listening to your wife.”

If Susan’s story is honest, Jason Boyett’s is too: O Me of Little Faith: True Confessions of a Spiritual Weakling .  This is one of those rare books about doubt that is true — some magnify doubt in order to make faith look better. Jason’s story is one that you might be saying “Get out of this and tell us the bright side.” He doesn’t because he can’t. That’s one of the best compliments one can give a book like this.

He ponders growing up in the faith but struggling as a “spiritual weakling.” 
He asks questions we all have, or most of us have, and he doesn’t give us some charming or clever line that ends the question but he gives us the path he’s walked himself. I often say that the experience of doubt doesn’t so much end but instead leaves us with a limp. He limps but he keeps on walking.
Perhaps what I liked most about this book is that it is not a cynical rant or a glorification of doubt, as if the best of thinkers are really doubters. Rather, it’s a book about the insides of doubt. 
Doubters, take and read. You’ve got company.
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  • John W Frye

    I just re-read Anne Lamott’s *Traveling Mercies.* Julie and I heard Anne speak in Grant, MI last week, and we bought her latest book *Imperfect Birds.* Susan Isaac’s book sounds intriguing.

  • I heard Susan Isaacs talk about her book this past fall. She was with Donald Miller’s A Million Miles… book tour. I thought she had a wonderful mix of funny and vulnerability. Haven’t read her book yet, but thanks for reminding me about it.

  • rich constant

    just wanted to say it was a real let down that you couldn”t answer my simple little question scott although what a fine presintation at pepperdine
    great fun with you brother.
    if you would like anorher go at that question the answer oh the answer will break your hart .
    as it did mine a few years ago.
    if christ perfectly righteous under tora law.
    how is god rightious to curse his son.
    fulfilment is not to be concidered and also the effect of the act attonement is that “an effect for creation”.
    blessings and peace to a great christian.
    rich constant