28/02/2005

The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass - On Tour (by Adrian Plass)


We finally ordered this book by Adrian Plass, the third (or fifth, depending on how you count them) in his Sacred Diary series from Play.com after having it on various wishlists for several months. Since we couldn't decide who would read it first, I suggested reading it aloud to the boys. I haven't read any Plass aloud before, but we found it worked quite well. The book is divided into chapters with breaks in the middle, and it's an easy enough style.

The plot covers a tour which Adrian makes with his fictional wife Anne, and their son Gerald (now an an ordained minister). Amongst others. It's a local speaking tour in which Adrian - supposedly - writes his diary daily. There are some very amusing moments although we all thought it wasn't as funny as the previous books in the series. On the other hand, there are some very thought-provoking discussions that occur, some of which point out - gently - flaws in some modern evangelical fundamentalist styles of thinking.

I thoroughly enjoy Adrian Plass's writing, fiction and non-fiction. Until I came across Philip Yancey, he was without question my favourite modern Chritian writer. Now I can't decide between the two. They're quite different in writing style, yet a feeling of being kindred spirits pervades all that both of them say - an awareness of both the good and the bad in today's church; of the powerful and positive aspects of Christianity, and the sad ways that so many people (including ourselves) seem to do more to harm the cause than to help it.

This isn't really a book for those outside the church; there are too many 'in' jokes and allusions, too much cynicism to make any sense to someone who thinks Christianity is a load of rubbish anyway. I'm not sure it would even be helpful to those who are absolutely certain of their theology and don't like to hear dissenting voices.

But for those who like to think outside the box, to see things in a slightly different light and who don't mind a sometimes irreverent sense of the ridiculous and a gentle poking fun at well-meaning people within the church, this comes highly recommended. But preferably read the earlier books first - the original Sacred Diary in particular.

You can also read my longer review of 'The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass on Tour' written on re-reading nine years later. 

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