How to Believe: Teachers and Seekers Show the Way to a Modern, Life-Changing Faith

Jon Spayde, Author . Random $24.95 (213p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6402-1

Impelled by a life-changing religious experience and a host of questions about God's role in the world, Spayde set out on a road trip to “understand Jesus and the people who love him.” The former editor of the Utne Reader , Spayde also sought to confront some of his own liberal preconceptions about Christian conservatives and to explore the tension between faith and intellect. Crisscrossing America in his search for revelatory spiritual narratives, Spayde interviewed 34 men and women of very diverse beliefs and experiences. They included a controversial retired Episcopal bishop, married evangelical urban missioners, a Mormon convert and screenwriter, a bisexual author and spiritual director and the Catholic priest who is Toronto's poet laureate. Weaving his own narrative with those of the women and men he portrays, Spayde came to believe that faith is more about action than about correct doctrine. Surrendering to God, he asserts, is encouraged through tradition, relationship and community, and cultivated in an appreciation of the mystery at its heart. So many of the stories recounted here are compelling that readers may wish that Spayde had gone into some in more detail—or saved some for another volume. (Feb. 12)

Reviewed on: 12/24/2007
Release date: 02/01/2008
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