I was sitting on a train to Bournemouth and I put Jack Miles's God on the table. Next to me a chap came into the carriage and put down Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion - "Look at the symmetry", I said to him. He didn't seem to find it amusing. Perhaps he thought you were deluded, a friend said later.
I've never read any Dawkins, but I have to say that Jack Miles has written a masterpiece. The literary approach could be interpreted as a very secular approach. No matter, the book, written in a very entertaining style, explains the character of God as he develops in the Bible.
Things like love, and fatherly concern for his children, were not part of his make-up at the outset. The project of the human race seemed like a good idea at the start, but he lost patience and wiped it all out with the Flood. He then became a superhuman Tony Soprano, leading his crew and murdering anyone who got in his way.
God may be a delusion, but the entity that comes out of the Old Testament is fascinating, and how we understand it informs how we understand the exercise of power in the world today. As Jack Miles points out God is a lot quieter these days. He's dropped the voice from the volcano stuff. Instead, chaps like George Bush and Tony Blair have stepped into the breach.
This book explains monotheism, and what it's implications are. I've picked up books before about the Bible, but I've always found them to be academic. This book greatly enhanced my knowledge of the Old Testament and it was great fun, too.