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What Is God Anyway?,
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This review is from: Holy the Firm (Paperback)
Annie Dillard has a special way of speaking to her readers. Her language is light and airy, yet filled with great significance and meaning. She blithely covers the most difficult and complicated of human subjects, with terrific contemplation. And what she yields is a treasure, a gem to be internalized and imbued.
In this book, Annie discusses God. She is confused by the way in which random events that hurt and injure seem to be disconnected with the way in which we would like to live. If these random and terrible events take place, without willful malice; then how could it happen that God would let such terrible things occur?
She describes a day in her life. In that day there is a young girl visiting, to whom she is attracted and vice versa. They have a chemistry that brings them within each other's spheres. This beautiful girl becomes the casualty of an airplane crash. No one else is hurt. No one is dead. But this girl for a random reason, is hit with a globule of flaming kerosene, and her face is totally burned away.
This anomaly is the framework of the book. She could have chosen 1000 other examples that set up this question. But she chose this one of the girl, one that could be personal not just to her; but also to her readers. She reminds us that there is no everyday, omnipresent God directing things. And there is no way to figure out these random events. There are only DAYS. And those days are filled with things that we do or don't do. There is no God that will directly intervene and tell us what to do, or save us. He is as ruthless as he is merciful. His form, however, is quite another story. His form is spiritual, not worldly, and not mundane. And we must remember that we control most of the things in our lives directly. We need to assume that responsibility and leave the spiritual to whatever it is we seem to believe in as God.
This book creates highly complex philosophical problems; which have no direct answers. Yet the book is highly recommended for critical thinkers. The book is a special treatment on the concept of the Divine.