Penguins, Pain and the Whole Shebang: Why I Do the Things I Do, by God (as told to John Shore)by John Shore
About one year after his sudden and utterly out-of-the-blue conversion to Christianity (which he describes in the riveting afterword of this book), John Shore reportedly found himself overwhelmed by the desire to write something that Christians could give to non-Christians by way of proving that just because one is Christian doesn’t automatically mean that one… See more details below
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About one year after his sudden and utterly out-of-the-blue conversion to Christianity (which he describes in the riveting afterword of this book), John Shore reportedly found himself overwhelmed by the desire to write something that Christians could give to non-Christians by way of proving that just because one is Christian doesn’t automatically mean that one is irrational. The result is the delightfully profound “‘Penguins, Pain and the Whole Shebang: Why I Do the Things I Do,’ by God (as told to John Shore),” in which God (who, it turns out, is excruciatingly funny: who knew?) directly answers the dozen objections to Christianity most typically raised by non-Christians. The book’s opening dialogue between God and the archangel Michael on the eve before God introduces Adam onto planet earth is worth the price alone. No finer, accessible, or creative a Christian apologetic has ever been written. This is the book for which Mr. Shore is most likely to be remembered.
The questions the character of God answers in "Penguins" are:
-- If you really exist, why don’t you prove it?
-- What’s the deal with evil, anyway? Why does a God who is all-powerful an all-compassionate allow evil to exist? He either wills evil to exit—which makes him despicable—or he’s powerless to stop it, which makes him uninspiringly weak, to say the least. Both bite. What’s up?
-- Why are so many Christians so obnoxious and mean-spririted? It seems like Christianity’s mostly about being judgmental, narrow-minded, and having an infuriatingly condescending attitude toward anyone who isn’t a Christian. Christians are so busy being smug about being Christian they forget to be kind.
-- What’s that whole “Atonement” thing actually mean?
-- Isn’t it enough that I believe in God? Why do I have to narrow it down to the Christian God?
-- What’s the deal about God actually writing the Bible? Is it written by God, or people, or people filled with the Holy Spirit, which is somehow supposed to be the same as God, or what? What’s the Scoop, Jackson? (The first thing God answers to this one is, “Did you just call me ‘Jackson’?”)
-- Even if I do believe in Christ, do I really have to go to church every Sunday? Yuck.
-- So how would being a Christian actually improve my life? What would it really do for me?
Praise for Penguins, Pain and the Whole Shebang:
Winner of the 2006 San Diego Book Award for Best Religion/Spirituality book.
Rob Bell ("Love Wins," "Sex God," "Velvet Elvis,") has declared Mr. Shore "awesome," and "a brilliant writer." Dan Savage ("It Gets Better") has called him "a wonderful writer," and written of his desire for all Christians to read his work. “John Shore is a gadfly," writes John Shelby Spong, "calling the Christian Church everywhere to act the way it says it believes about love and justice, which of course makes him an uncomfortable presence in those churches that do not like to be forced to face reality. So were the prophets of old. So was Jesus of Nazareth.” Tony Jones ("The New Christians") says, "John Shore is funny as hell and smart as hell."
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