Book Review on “Speaking by Faith” by Krista Tippett





Book Review on “Speaking by Faith” by Krista Tippett

Speaking of Faith is a book written by Krista Tippett in 2007. The title of the book was derived from a famous show that the author was hosting. The show is now known as “Krista Tippet on Being.” The show was being broadcasted on NPR. It was a weekly program whereby the host dedicated the topics to discussing ethics, ideas and meanings and religion. From the show, Tippett gathered the information, which is presented in the book. In the book, she appeals to the readers through the use of the provocative, poignant, and thoughtful illustrations, which she derives from her conversational journey. She is able to immerse her readers deeper as the book is conversational in nature. She addresses the modern religion through offering insights from activists, theologians, philosophers, and scientists. Some of the opinions placed in the book include those of infamous people such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as well as Thich Nhat Hanh and Karen Armstrong. The main aim of the book is to facilitate the transformation of the manner in which people discuss on pertinent issues such religion from different perspectives. Through this discussions, they are able to offer a meaningful evaluation of religious truths hence gaining platform whereby the many aspects related to spirituality are addressed hence answering the universal queries that are presented.

The book embodies the saying that states, “All truth is God’s truth.” (Tippett 45) Tippett focuses on ensuring that her audience is able to relate to the truthful content of the book. From the beginning, it evident to observe that she provides a deeper look into her journalistic role where she was able to illustrates the divergence of existing ideas concerning the same topic. She explains that her evangelic travels have enabled her to discover the existence of fortified entities characterized by hardcore discourse. This fortification, as she explains stems from the conditioning of a person’s belief, perceptions, values, and principles into those that connote suspicion (Tippett 70). Tippett offers insight into the reality of the modern day world, which is characterized by suspicion, and people cannot fully trust each other on issues such as religion or politics, which are fundamental social elements. Faith is discussed at length as well. She elaborates that the collaboration of questioning and believing, in particular, certainties comprises the whole understanding of faith. According to her, people should play two roles when exercising faith, which is inclusive of being a fervent searcher, as well as a believer who listens to instruction.

Pertaining to the in-depth outlook provided within the book, it is valid to mention that it is a source of spiritual information as it details on the autobiography of faith. She indicates that there has been immense damage that has affected the faith held by many people. The contributive element that has facilitated this damage is religion, which is somewhat ironic as it should be the source of this fundamental element (Tippett 89). It is observable that despite the fact that she holds this belief, she steers away from addressing the issues which in the recent times has been associated with reductionisms that has promoted the widespread atheism globally. From further explanation, the main recommendation offered by the author who is supported by other writers as well is the need to practice nuance appraisal. According to Tippett, it indicates that “one intelligent enough to take the time and care to unravel extremism from devotion, to distinguish between what is ideological and what is human.” (Tippett 198). The writer forwards several questions as one reads the book. The primary goals for employing the use of these question is to evoke thought process as they can either be categorized as personal or universal in nature. In as much as a person she can benefit from the unraveling of these queries, it is important to observe that the questions are meant to challenge the audience into evaluating their lifetime exposure to the ideological notions and perceptions that exist in the world.

In expressing the hunger she has for spiritual growth, she elaborates on her life history and the manner in which she felt limited by political ideologies while she lived in Berlin. The study of theology is the sole facilitating factor that is able to arbitrate the reconciliation of intelligence and faith hence deepen the association, meaning, and experience of a person as they interact with the world (Tippett 202). Decision-making is considered imperative and ideal when one takes the step to widen their intelligence and develop a deeper understanding of faith and its importance in a person’s daily life and interactions. She brings out the aspect of fundamentalism from a Christian perspective. She offers the insights of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, who believed that a Christian is defined by the utterances of religious people. From their opinion, Tippett clears indicates that fundamentalism is not applicable on the universal scale as it is imperative to have a deeper look into the intricacies of this notion (Tippett 221) as well as apply common sense in order to be able to embrace applicable aspects and discard those that fail to meet the universal approach on matters.

Based on the information in the book, it is clear to observe that Tippet’s reduces the likelihood of demonization with respect to an instance where the listeners read her perceptions well as other opinions from learned counterparts. From this angle, the readers are able to understand the human aspect of religion where they are able to approach it spiritually without any justification to be suspicious. She offers an explanation as to why the current situation in the world is a drastic and devastating crisis. According to her understanding, the fundamental beliefs have played a huge role in destabilization of the modern day society because of generalization of ideas hence insulting the individuality that sets people apart from the global scale (Tippett 230). From her explanations, the readers are able to infer that the world crisis is facilitated by human thoughts and beliefs, which are actualized through extreme actions reacting in opposition to the ideal norm. Essentially, it is evident that the writer believes that there should be no room for fundamentalism to become a globally applicable element, as it is detrimental in other situation such the mental states.

One of the major advantages of reading the book compared to others reiterating about the same concepts is that Tippett does not lose the audience’s attention by incorporating difficult concepts such as metaphysics or theological paradigms. Rather, she simplistic in her explanations and is able to draw the interest and attention of the audience while evoking reflections on the deeper meaning of faith and its universal reception.


Work Cited

Tippett, Krista. Speaking Of Faith. New York: Viking, 2007. Print.







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