Anyone who has even skimmed the Gospels knows that one of the major themes of Jesus’ words is love. Jesus tells us it is not enough to love your friends; you must even love your enemies. Wouldn’t it be nice if only we Christians and other God believing people took those words to heart.
I recently was directed by a friend to a blog post about a book about a book I have recently read entitled Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom. The blog that had the post was from The Institute on Religion and Public Life which claims to be “an interreligious, nonpartisan research and education institute whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society” (their words not mine). The blog is obviously well financed. It has a lot of flashy colors and streaming videos and multiple authors. This post was a somewhat vicious attack on Mr. Albom. Among other things they called him an idiot. I see this attack as totally out of place for the contents of the book. Especially since the attack is on a “religious” blog.
The book is about the author’s eight year relationship with a rabbi who asked Mr. Albom to give his eulogy when he dies. Since the author was no longer a practicing Jew and at best only a distant friend the request came as a somewhat surprise to him. The book also includes parallel stories about a Christian minister friend who was once a drug dealer.
Is Mitch Albom a theologian who got it wrong? That seems to be the premise of the attack post. Mitch Albom, as shown in bio on the back of the book, is an author and playwright who was relaying stories about people in his life. Were there errors in theology in the book? I’m sure there were. Some minor errors were even apparent to me but that did not ameliorate his heartfelt contents in the book. I think he was writing about some very emotional things for him and I congratulate him for that. To call him an idiot among other put downs as the post did is totally out of place and very ungodly in my mind.
I think these type of put down words goes toward the times we seem to be living in and religious people certainly don’t seem immune from it. There seems to be only room for either friends or enemies, or black and white, and nothing in between. Where is the love of the Lord in this attack? Jesus says to love even our enemies; I do not see that attitude at all in this particular post.
I would recommend this book to anyone. It is very readable and well written. Is it theologically sound? No, not in all respects, but is it good reading with much emotional content and does not deserve the attack it was given by this supposedly religious blog.