Thursday, November 8, 2007

Year of Living Biblically

I had read a couple of reviews of The Year of Living Biblically (sounded interesting, the kind of thing I'd read) before I realized that it was by A.J. Jacobs, the author of The Know-it-all, in which he reads his way through the whole Encyclopedia Britannica. The subtitle of the current book is "One man's humble quest to follow the Bible as literally as possible." And wow, does he. His writing is a great mixture of humor, reverence, thoughtfulness and the minutiae of his daily life. He goes to extremes to try to follow biblical instructions as closely as possible, and he invents wild justifications for things in his life that don't quite fit right within the structure he has set up for himself (his wife's in vitro fertilization, for example.) He talks to creationists, Hasidic Jews, a gay ultra-conservative Christian discussion group, and even snake handlers (keeping an incredibly balanced view the whole time.) In the end, though, he has to admit that any attempt at living a biblical life has to pick and choose which rules to follow, and interpret them in some way. Great book.

Book 76

1 comment:

SnowLeopard said...

I think I would have to completely agree with his conclusion- you can't always follow the rules to a T, or we'd all die and go straight to Hell because we're all sinners who couldn't abide by every single one. That sounds pretty harsh doesn't it? I don't pretend to know anything, and feel free to delete this if you want... Life's full of grey areas.