If our theological convictions were a house, some books build the foundation, stabilizing the ideas we hold about God. Others paint the structure with brilliant and beautiful colors, giving what we believe about God a kind of vibrancy.
The trick, then, is to discern which books should build up the foundation, and which should be left for the painting. It’s not hard to imagine readers wondering where exactly to place Emmanuel Carrère’s latest book, The Kingdom, as they construct their own theological house.
This book is nearly impossible to pin down in a particular genre. The Library of Congress deemed it fiction and biography, which, after having read it, seems to be about the best one can do, but how can it be both? One reason to…