Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Take This Bread (Book #40)

I don't talk politics or religion much on this blog, but every once in awhile my reading interests alone let slip that I'm a somewhat unusual combination--a Christian and a Democrat.

In the past year or so I've read two books by adult converts to Christianity who share my basic political orientation--Barack Obama and Sara Miles, author of Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion (2007). And the thing that struck me is that neither of them were converted by argument and apologetics. It wasn't a matter of becoming convinced of the factual truth of the Apostle's Creed--it was much more experiential. Sacramental, if you will. Obama, as far as I can tell, became a Christian because of what he saw in the churches he worked in as a community activist. Miles's experience was even tougher for someone from my rational Baptist-Presbyterian background to, er, swallow. She wandered into a church, took communion, and saw God in the bread and wine. As a Baptist, raised to see the elements as just symbols, I have trouble wrapping my head around it. But I also feel like there's something there, and I somewhat envy her the middle way she found. I don't want to be an atheist or a fundamentalist, but my version of a middle ground is almost to oscillate wildly between the two, because I really want all the answers, and those are the belief systems that have them.

Anyway, this is a very good book. You've got to admire someone who takes communion and almost immediately decides to share what she's received by starting a food pantry open to all comers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved your review. This book was recommended for the resource center where I work, and I ordered it. It just arrived, and now I can't put it down, and put in an order for my own copy. I am a lifelong Presbyterian, and was a missionary for 20 years - in Korea - and I just love the way faith found Sara Miles, and how she describes it and what she did about it. Nice to meet you through your review -- and LibraryThing! Blessings, Martha Huntley