The story takes us from the boredom of his family church, through megachurches and a born-again experience to his job as a religion reporter on the LA Times.
Reading the story, it gives me a real insight into his life and religious experience. There's an honesty to his words that keeps you reading for more. This almost parallels his mountaintop retreat born-again experience where men who he'd never met before, would pour out their life stories.
Although the ending is still 170 pages away, and we know the ending - atheism, it's not the end point that matters, it's the journey, and the story that we know is heading us towards a turning point.
The abuses of religion set the stage for the turning point - the financial excesses of televangelists, and the Catholic church's cover up of sexual abuse. But even through this, William is still heading towards becoming a Catholic. We know he will change his beliefs, but precisely how will that happen. Will there be a key issue that turns them, or is it all the issues together, over time, creating a pressure that just bursts? That's why I have to read more. It's exciting the way religion often is not.
Well, now that I've finished the book, I've got to say that it was very hard to put down. It's obvious that the Catholic church's conspiracy to protect their sex abuse priests really turned his stomach, as was the reaction of the flock who supported some of these priests even after their involvement was known.
The real turning point is shown in a series of emails where he asks questions which basically boil down to the classic problem of evil. When he cannot get satisfactory answers for those questions, he has turned.