Sunday, 17 October 2010

Book review of Micheal Ots' What Kind of God? by Tulpesh Patel

What Kind of God is a collection of 10 short answers to common questions, or ‘accusations’ made by atheists, of religion, such as: What kind of god doesn't prevent suffering? What kind of god sends sincere people to hell? What kind of god would limit my sexuality? It’s written by a Minister of Evangelism at Landsdowne Baptist Burch in Bournemouth, but by happenstance grew up just down the road from where I did.

I wanted to review this book not on the arguments presented, but on the writing and book itself, but realised that would be a impossible and not entirely useful. I won't spend time dissecting the answers given to these questions, save to say that, as is par for the course with these kind of books, they are just one long non sequitur. 

Paraphrased answers to the questions posed above are: ‘God, in his justice, is perfectly fair in punishing our sin, but, in his love, he is patient with us, and thus every day the world continues is a sign of his patience’, ‘just like ourselves God does not tolerate the evil that is inherent in us and demands justice – it would be evil of God not to judge and punish us for our sins’ and ‘when it comes to sex, it is because it is good and precious that God places restrictions on it’ (and what I found most laughable as a ‘Christianity isn’t a homophobic religion, honest’ defence: ‘there is a difference between the orientation and the act’). 

The book is written in an affable, blokey style and is peppered with little snippets of the author’s life, which I suppose is meant to appeal to the Christian Union students it is aimed at and demonstrate that ‘Christians are people too’. It’s not the worst kind of book in defense of Christianity, but don’t read it expecting a serious theological discussion – it’s well short of any solid argument or philosophical discussion, and as I’ve already said, is just a series of illlogical appeals to emotion built around a scaffold of biblical quotes.

It’s a quick enough read, and it’s always good know what the religious feel is something resembling the antidote to amassing and incisive anti-religious literature.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, might be worth a look, as you suggest, its always a good idea to keep up with alternative view points. However, all I now have in my head is: