Cross Examined – An Unconventional Spiritual Journey, By Bob Seidensticker

speakeasy_bob_seidensticker.1I got irritated reading this book. I was irritated every time the ‘churched’ spoke. Smug ‘Christians’ aren’t very nice people. I was irritated by the rebuttal of the atheist. Where were voices like this when I began asking questions? Finally, I was irritated every time someone interrupted me while I was reading. The story was totally engaging.

Yet this was more than an exceptionally great story among a sea of other new books that are both a waste of time and money. Seidensticker effectively takes the reader by surprise, sucking the unprepared deep into his narrative, while fearlessly landing an assault on the very foundations of our world view.

Honestly, this was one of the best books I’ve read in recent months. The author explored working with characters who were genuinely searching for truth while others hid from the truth in various ways. The reader must jockey his/her way back and forth between sometimes identifying with one and then with the other. We not only come face to face with the truth about the genuineness of our own desire for truth, but we are frequently confronted by specific challenges to many of our cherished defenses. Overlaying the existential, theological, and the rational clobbering, the author simultaneously side-swipes the reader with the emotionality of two tragic background stories.

So, what does one do with all this? Was it only a good story? Should we merely permit the author to take us out for a spin, then return us safely to our home? Read only if you consider yourself an honest person.

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