In defense of church

Harry Emerson Fosdick said the preacher should preach in such a way that the listener wishes to come over later and visit the preacher in his office. Lillian Daniel has written a book that makes you wish she were your preacher—and that you could be seated next to her at a long, multicourse dinner party.

When “Spiritual But Not Religious” Is Not Enough is a feast of words—funny, ribald, tiptoeing to the edge of sarcasm, yet full of love and unflinching hope. Daniel has a pastor’s heart and is clearly a tender lover of the church, yet she writes with an edge that catapults her away from ever being dull or sappy. This isn’t a book so much as a smorgasbord of delicacies, complete with an essay, a brief piece that feels like a blog post gone viral, a lecture, and the sort of op-ed you print and hand to a friend.


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