Recommended Read: Unapologetic

Unapologetic: Why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense.
Written by Francis Spufford.

Published by Faber & Faber, 2012

I have loved reading this fresh and bold story and exposition of why belief in God matters and makes a difference. Loved it, but struggled to work out how to share it with you – because it is not a book that is easily reviewed – it simply needs to be read and experienced for yourselves.

I’ll be honest – it is a challenging read – not that the words are hard to read – in fact quite the opposite, you may well struggle to put it down. But it is challenging because every page has at least one line, idea, or phrase that will make you stop and need to think about – possibly even want to disagree with – and then find your mind blown and read on to the next bit that makes you stop and think.

Spufford offers a unique presentation on how to make sense of God, faith, Jesus, bible and church for today – challenging any reader to look in a mirror, recognise our brokenness and need for mending and to find that mending in the grace of Jesus.

Unapologetic will make you think deeply and differently about life and relationships and faith. It asks questions about the existence of God, how we understand sin, why there is suffering in the world and how on earth Jesus dying is what brought redemption to the world. And to those questions there are few definitive answers offered, but there is a whole lot of Jesus , and a whole lot of hope offered in the questions, the mystery and the uncertainty that emerges. Oh, and a whole lot of unconditional, unwavering grace.

Church, Spufford argues, is a space of failed people seeking to perpetuate the unlimited generosity of God. it is a messy place, where the institution messes up (actually, Spuffords language is more colourful than that!), but Christ is still looking at and God is still shining.

Spufford concludes (and this gives you a flavoyr of all the book explores):

“If that is, there is a God. There may well not be, don’t know whether here is. And neither do you, and neither does Richard bloody Dawkins, and neither does anyone. What I do know is that, when I am lucky, when I have managed to pay attention, when for once I have hushed my noise for a little while, it can feel as if there is one. And so it makes emotional sense to proceed as if He’s there; to dare the conditional. And not timid death-fearing emotional sense, or cowering craven master-seeking sense, or censorious holier-than-thou sense, either. Hopeful sense. Realistic sense. Battered-about-but-still-trying sense. The sense recommended by our awkward sky fairy, who says: don’t be careful. Don’t be surprised by any human cruelty. But don’t be afraid. Far more can be mended that you know.”

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