There are basically three kinds of books in the world: good, bad, and mediocre. By contrast, there are an almost infinite number of experiences of books, for the experience is not merely shaped by the quality of the text, but also one’s expectations. To come to a book of which one expects poor quality and find it mediocre is pleasant; to find a book in which one expected poor argument or bad theology and discover instead real quality is a delight. By contrast, to come to a book that seemed really excellent and find it instead merely mediocre is terribly frustrating – more so, in many ways, than finding a book truly terrible, whatever one expected. With a terrible book, the reader at least can have the satisfaction of hatred. Mediocrity, however, leaves one with nothing but vague disappointment and a sense of a missed opportunity.
Unfortunately, I had high hopes for The Cross is Not Enough: Living as Witnesses to the Resurrection, and it proved entirely mediocre. Read on, intrepid explorer →