I've been contemplating lately what my next few book purchases should be. I sort of had a plan but wanted to scour a few pages before spending the money. So I went to the local Barnes & Noble, got a cup of coffee, and headed over to the religion section.
I had been planning on another fun/inspirational read (likely an untouched Anne Lammott or Donald Miller) and another text on theory and practice of current day ministry. But as I was looking for my texts my desires changed, my mind changed, and my original plans fell through.
I was standing there looking over the four aisle of books in the sections labeled "Christianity" and "Christian Inspiration" and I realized what a confusing place this is. I looked and saw stacks of books by one author whose purpose is to negate the author in the adjacent stack. There was also a "Religious Fiction" section. I am a person who can really appreciate the presence of diversity and the attempt to carry out serious dialogue, but I stood there the whole time thinking of those people who are confused about our faith or who are at a distance from our faith. What a confusing section this must be! I hope they don't form opinions about our faith based on the titles they see in that strange section of the store.
So I decided instead to take a brief foray into fiction. I picked up a novel that seemed interesting and funny from a scanned preliminary reading. And I picked up another Thomas Merton book of texts for contemplation, as well. You can't go wrong with Merton.