Monday, 14 May 2012

God explained in a taxi ride

It's not so much that I don't blog anymore, it's just that I rarely go out for coffee any more.  There are probably three reasons for this.  Firstly, a couple of lattes and a brownie might seem like pocket change for some, but when money is tight it all adds up.  Secondly, and most likely, I would self confess to being a coffee snob.  The more I've learned about coffee over the years the harder it has become to enjoy an average drink.  Thirdly, the flippin' Internet sucks my evenings away *shakes fist at computer*.  I suppose I could add that my bike was stolen six months ago and I'm only after getting it replaced.  But that's a lame excuse for allowing too many evenings to be wasted.

All that to say I went out for a coffee tonight.  I headed for Accents Coffee lounge as they still remain one of the few cafes in Dublin that stay open late.  They usually have a good selection of books in their library, but I always take my own.
Tonight it was God Explained in a Taxi Ride by Paul Arden.

The basic premise of the book is explaining the existence and purpose of God (if there is one) in about the length of time it takes to ride a short journey in a taxi - or in my case to drink a cup of coffee.  Although it's 125 pages long most pages have just a handful of sentences so it's quite concise to say the least.  That said, if you're in a hurry you are invited on page two to jump to page 96 for the fast-track to God.

While there are flaws in Arden's reasoning and approach, it's a fun little book to read with some thought provoking questions.  Such as,

  • Does God really need people to defend him?
  • The Church wants you to believe in the Bible, so does that make it the Church's book and not God's?
  • If churches charged money to get in would they get a bigger, more committed congregation?  Would people get/demand a better service?
  • 100 years ago people went to church where they were told how to live their lives.  Today, is television the new life guru?
And so on....

Paul Arden writes about his changing perspective towards faith and God from a one-time church regular to what he has become today.  But does he still believe in God?  Can he find any satisfying answer?  You'll have to read it yourself.  It really doesn't take long.

For me it has inspired me to study for my MA in theology.  A similar journey, just a bit more wordy.