Tell Me Why by Michael Novak
A Father Answers His Daughters Questions About God

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For anyone exploring a spiritual life for the first time -- and all those brought up in a religion without ever understanding why -- here is a rare chance to eavesdrop on a conversation between a believing father and a skeptical daughter about God, faith, and morals. At once warm, blunt, and down-to earth, this extraordinary book is a trustworthy and thought-provoking guide.

World-renowned theologian Michael Novak is suddenly forced to bring his learning and many years of reflection close to home when his twentysomething daughter Jana, a journalist in her own right, sends him a long fax filled with practical questions about religion and life. As he attempts to answer, Jana challenges what she doesn't understand, raising the provocative questions of her generation and people of all ages. She is not interested in a scholarly essay but straight and honest replies -- and she never hesitates to bat back an answer she doesn't like.

Why should I believe in God? Why are there so many religions? How should I imagine heaven and hell? To be a Christian, do I have to be Mother Teresa? Must I accept religion whole, or is there room for argument and disagreement? Why is there so much suffering in the world?

Her father's replies -- tested by her rebuttals -- do not falter, even as he warns her that certain mountains can be climbed only by ways that at first seem roundabout. Faith, he tells her, is not a set of propositions but a way of seeing that must be worked at for a lifetime. He sets out to mark the sound paths, sometimes pulling her along, sometimes pointing out the traps and useless ways. Enacting as it does the difficult passing on of a noble tradition, Tell Me Why is certain to become a classic. In its candid pages, which resonate with the depth and drama of the incredibly popular works of C.S. Lewis, millions who know the frustrations of this struggle are sure to find light and solace.


About Michael Novak

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Novak is a cofounder and former publisher of Crisis magazine. a fiction writer and poet, has held editoral postions at Washingtonian and Crisis magazines, and was an assistant editor of Rising Tide.
Published September 1, 1998 by Atria. 336 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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