If there is something I dread more than be(com)ing a fashion blogger is be(com)ing a Christian blogger. There’s nothing wrong with being one, and there are so many I read that are amazing and make me unworthy of being one anyway. The reason why I don’t want to be one is that I don’t like the idea of putting a narrow definition to myself, alienate part of my readership and feel the obligation to keep up with the expectations it comes with. This is something many of you and especially So Worth Loving well know I’m trying to leave behind my back, somewhere between a happy time with pink trench coats and leopard print fake furs and when I realised life is a bitch but I’m bitcher.
I like to make people have a good time and escape their lives by reading a wannabe-witty account of the life of your average 20something in London, someone that is me yet is not me, and all can relate to on some level. Unless you really hate Doctor Who.
So let me talk about this wonderful book and be reassured I’m not going to discuss religion all the time, even if that’s the 2nd religious post in a row. Or third. Whatever.
‘Nothing but the Blood. The Gospel according to Dexter’
Everybody knows I’m borderline blasphemous anyway.
If you don’t know who Dexter is, either go to watch the series and then come back here or forgive the spoiler and carry on.
Dexter is a killer who only kills people who killed innocents. He’s almost heroic in the way he runs after justice, whether it’s arguably a very twisted idea of justice. And this is why Zach J. Hoag’s book is awesome.
It’s not yet another book with an impeccable hero who never failed and always got it right (yes, my favourite character in the Chronicles of Narnia is Edmund, OK?). Well, one reason is that it’s an essay, but then how many moral essays addressing Christians revolve around a fallen figure not to criticise it? It’s almost like talking about angels using Gabriel and Castiel (Supernatural, if you’re asking).
I consider literature (and sometimes films or TV series, but mostly literature) a more powerful way to teach about Christianity than using the traditional teachings.
If I’m a decent woman I owe it all to Oscar Wilde and none to the Catholic Church. If it was for the Catholic Church I would be seeking revenge over bullies and abusers which never paid the price of what they did to me. So I’m biased towards using such a controversial character to reflect on God.
But then you read two lines like “I wonder if darkness is defined by light. If so, darkness can’t exist on its own” and it all makes perfect sense.
There’s a lot I would like to quote and a lot I would like to say about what’s in it for everybody, but I would make reading the book useless instead of something you’re intrigued to do. It just really went down my skin like few other non-fiction books, and I took Philosophy at uni so I read a lot. I think it would be a perfect basis for a dialogue between atheists and believers, because if you eliminate the principal premise you are left with a beautiful account of humanism. I believe this is relevant, because besides my reasons not to be agnostic I think the question whether or not God exists is irrelevant, and the outcome of it when the last day comes doesn’t change the human potential for good. If God exists and I was right then it’s God-given and imago Dei. If He doesn’t, then it’s a result of a coincidence in the middle of chaos but it’s still there. And this is why choosing Dexter is brilliant and necessary: Dexter is no man’s land in a cultural war where there’s a lot of misconceptions but also lots of common ground. One for all, we are all the same humanity, wherever you think this all comes from.
The greatest thing about Christianity for me is that the beliefs build a community of people, and this is a feeling I’ve been craving all my life. Belonging. This is why this relational theology rings so powerful and so right to me. And if the Gospel is all about restoring our relationship with God, I think restoring our relationship with our neighbour is a first step that would set things right unnoticed. We may not kill people (I don’t, at least, I don’t know about you), but Dexter’s struggle with a broken world is our struggle too. But if there’s darkness there is light, so humanism is what really matters. We matter.
I hope this book will reach people from all walks of life, and those who don’t believe will be able to go past the assumptions linked to the primary audience of the book and will grasp the universal teaching (if there’s anything universal at all in this world) between its lines.
Click on the link and buy Zach J. Hoag’s book.