Given my own proclivities, it’s inevitable I would want to read a book about faith by a critically-acclaimed Canadian novelist, so of course I got a copy of David Adams Richards’s God Is just as soon as the library was able to get it into my hands.
The biggest problem I had with God Is is that I was never quite sure what kind of book I was reading. The title suggests a work of apologetics; the subtitle (“My Search for Faith in a Secular World”) suggests a spiritual memoir, but the book is really neither of these. Bits of Richards’ autobiography creep in, but seemingly almost by accident. And his declaration that God is, and that faith is meaningful in today’s world, is not the stance of an apologist who is building an argument to convince others.
Perhaps it’s best to say this book is just David Adams Richards’s meditation on the subject of faith — his own faith, and religious faith in general. There were points here I strongly agreed with — such as the fact that there is an very strong element of anti-Christian snobbery in the Canadian academic and literary establishment. But his response to that verges on the hyper-defensive at times, which I found unappealing. I think the biggest problem for me is that this book probably has to be read in the context of Richards’s novels, which I have not read. Without that context, it was hard for me to get engaged with this nonfiction work, even with the most engaging of subject matter.