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Unapologetic: Why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense Paperback – 7 Mar 2013
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A unique book, cutting its way ruthlessly through thickets of both religious and anti-religious sentimentality; painfully funny at points, always impassioned and never glib. (Rowan Williams, Master, Magdalene College, Cambridge University and former Archbishop of Canterbury)
Spufford has the great virtue of making the reader want to argue with him, while simultaneously yearning to hear more. (Daily Telegraph)
Remarkable, passionate, challenging and tumultuously articulate book ... this is Spufford's most fascinating book. (Our Choice, Sunday Times)
An interesting additional to the religious cannon ... a refreshing approach, which makes the book far more palatable than the nearly hysterical polemics we have come to expect from both sides. Spufford writes well, and his rationality shines through here. (Sunday Business Post)
Unapologetic is a brief, witty, personal, sharp-tongued defence of Christianity by Francis Spufford, taking on Dawkins' The God Delusion and Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Very occasionally a book comes along that makes your normal way of reading books pointless.
I mark and write in the margins of all the books i read, i helps me to absorb and read slower....this principal applied to this book has resulted in pen laden pages throughout, and it has become so highlighted that it really is pretty pointless, the whole book is one big highlight.
As you may have guessed from the title the language used is far from what you will find in your normal Christian book.
It would be a bit difficult for the authors central thesis of "HPtFtU" (Human Propensity to **** things up) to be rephrased very easily or effectively, so frankly just deal with it, it will be worth it.
I would normally give you a central quote or two to encourage you to read this book...this time i will just tell you not to engage in your own HPtFtU and just buy this book and read it, it will be worth it
Francis explains that the biblical concept of sin is not the modern interpretation of jolly sexual pecadilloes but rather the concept of the human capacity to deliberately or undeliberately wreck things, and how Christianity provides the language and beliefs for us to cope with this: he talks about the way monotheism is an externalisation of some shimmering voice that we recognise inside ourselves as 'other'. And that's only what I've read so far.
I read a fair amount of books about religion, some serious theology, some more devotional spiritual literature; this is neither, and I wish there was much more literature like it. If your tired of the dryness of much theology and the gentility of much Christian spirituality, then this is for you. A real breath of fresh air in the God debate, something that doesn't seem possible I know, but Spufford has done it. It is, first and foremost, a truly passionate book about Spufford's religious life and convictions. He offers no easy solutions to the basic theological riddles Christians have to live with, and in fact spends several pages pretty much demolishing the very idea of theodicy - and what a relief it is too, to find a Christian author who actually doesn't want us to swallow the excuses theologians make for God. This book might actually challenge some Christians as much as it does non-believers, in a good and necessary way. No, this is something else; an unblinking, completely honest, head-on look at what it is that Christianity really means for us, as emotional human beings, rather than as walking intellects.
Some more sensitive souls might be put off by Spufford's strong language and imagery. This would be a great shame, as the book also contains some passages of great lyrical beauty, one of which is quite simply the best description I have ever read of what prayer is actually like. Not the esoteric stages of contemplative prayer that few Christians ever reach, but the ordinary, everyday kind of prayer that most of us can muster.
There is a streak of real anger and indignation in the book too, but also a lot of dark humour and razor sharp wit. It is, as the cover claims, unhampered by niceness. Completely refreshing. I finished the book and turned straight back to page one.
It is also for anyone who just enjoys great prose.
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Most recent customer reviews
Spufford makes no attempt to make a case, or explain Christianity to you...he simply explains what it means to him. Excellent!