Andrew Klavan’s memoir, The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ is a great read. Klavan goes back to his youth growing up in the suburbs of Long Island with a mom who was atheist and a father who was culturally, but not religiously Jewish. He chronicles his rocky relationship with his father and his love of writing and reading stories. It’s easy to see that Klavan was a storyteller from his earliest days. What’s more it’s shown in the writing. The Great Good Thing is masterfully written. Now an accomplished novelist and screenwriter, Klavan knows how to make every word and every metaphor count. He’s a delight to read.
This memoir isn’t preachy or saccharine. Instead, Klavan shares how he slowly came to be baptizes after dealing with the demons and mistakes of his early life. He doesn’t portray himself as a saint. He isn’t proud of his rebellion at school. He doesn’t sugarcoat his struggles with depression or anger. He trenchantly describes how anti-semitism plagued him and for years was a barrier to Christianity for him. Instead he gives us a smart, open look at one very intelligent guy’s slow turning to faith. While doing so he offers a road map to deeper understanding of theology and scripture.
Because Klavan’s writing so good, so intelligent, I’ve ordered one of his novels to read next. (By “next” I mean after I’ve finished the eight books I’ve already started.)
Ben Shapiro’s clear & concise and talks slower than he usually does.
Below is a fascinating podcast on forgiveness. It’s part of the Feminist Catholic Podcast series and features Rosario Rodriguez, who experienced two assaults and had to learn what forgiveness really is.
Not sure why the player won’t show up though it does show up in the Visual mode. If you click the HTML above, you can listen.
Sorry that WordPress won’t make it look nicer. They could if they wanted to.
I liked his quote from Thomas More, “Those who abandon their personal faith for the public duties lead their country on a short road to chaos.”
Here’s the trailer for The Jewish Cardinal so you get more of a sense of the film.