Tomorrow sees the publication of my new book, The Romance of Religion: Fighting for Goodness, Truth, and Beauty This book has been gestating for about ten years. It was originally conceived as the second book in a theological trilogy. The first book is my study on the Apostle’s Creed called The Quest for the Creed: What the Apostles Really Believed, and Why It Matters. The third book was intended to be a study of the Trinity called The Triumph of the Trinity but because I couldn’t quite get my mind around how the Holy Trinity would be able to ride a triumph motorcycle I put that idea on the shelf…I suppose you could have God the Father driving with God the Son in a sidecar and the Holy Spirit could be the gas driving the engine, but there were too many possibilities that I would lapse into heresy, so the third volume is now going to be called The Sacred Sacrifice and will be a study of evil and redemption.
The Romance of Religion deals with the question of the great adventure of faith. So many abandon religion because they have come to believe that it is no more than a list of rules, regulations and rubrics combined with a list of doctrines, dogmas and disciplines to be observed. They’ve missed the fact that these things–while necessary–are not the core of religion. They are the map for the journey, the rulebook of the game, but they are not the journey or the game. The journey is far more than the map even if you need the map for the journey. The book then expands and considers how we use stories to tell about the faith, the relationship of myth and fairy tale to the re-telling of the old, old, story of fallen humanity and a forgiving God.
Okay, the book’s weakness is my own weakness for Chesterton, and yes, I know, I know, the only thing worst than Chesterton are the imitators of Chesterton. I plead guilty. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea I have a cuppa tea now? The reason I write in a rambunctious Chestertonian style is because, well first of all, it’s fun. Second, I think it makes reading a theological book more fun, but more importantly, the style should match the content. I’m trying to get readers to think afresh, turn the world upside down and see their faith, their life, their gospel, their church in a fresh way. The word play, the puns, the jokes and the risky and risque language help to do that. If I go overboard I hope my readers will indulge me and forgive me.
I’ve had fun with it. I hope you do too. Go here to get your copies, or from tomorrow you’ll be able to get them direct from my website. Here is the review of Romance of Religion in Publisher’s weekly. Here is the first review online by Devin Rose at Ignitum Today. Go here for a mention on CNS blog and my TV interview with Catholic News Service in Rome.