Normally when I read books, I tend to shift toward practical leadership, ministry, theology, and other sorts of non-fictioney type resources. But recently, I’ve decided to push myself a little and branch out to read some new stuff. My efforts to branch out a little more lead us to today’s Cultivate resource, Called Out of Darkness by Anne Rice.
Some of you might be familiar with Anne Rice. She’s written many best-selling books (most notably Interview with a Vampire, which was turned into the famous movie of the same name). Rice has a very interesting spiritual journey, moving from devoutly religious as a child to eventually becoming an atheist as an adult. But after decades of being far from God, Anne Rice made quite a stir in the literature community when she renewed her faith in Christ and declared herself a follower of him once more. In more recent days (after the writing of this book), Rice made quite a stir in the Christian community by saying while she still maintained strong faith in Jesus, she no longer wished to wear the label of “Christian” due to the terrible things she has found associated with that name.
Maybe it’s just because I’m a pastor, but stories of faith absolutely fascinate me. One of my favorite things to do is to have coffee with someone and just take time to hear their story about their life, and especially to hear their faith story. Rice’s story was no exception for me. This book contains some beautiful, honest wrestling with God and with issues about what it means to be a follower of Him.
I certainly don’t know the story of everyone who is reading this blog right now, but I imagine that for many of you, your faith story right now might be non-existent. Maybe you feel totally far from him due to one of the same issues that Anne (who is an incredibly intelligent intellectual) grappled with. Maybe some of you reading are followers of Jesus, but are working through your own unique doubts, questions, and fears. I can’t recommend enough reading Anne Rice’s story. Even if she doesn’t work through the same issues that you might be wrestling with, I think there’s something good that happens even in finding solidarity with others who are working through the struggles (and joys) of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
(If you’re interested in picking up Called Out of Darkness, click here for a link to the Amazon website!)