Religion and Relationships by Minister Dante Fortson is an interesting look into the Bible from an interesting perspective. Despite God always being in the life of Minister Dante Fortson, the Minister didn’t develop his relationship with God until December 2008, while serving a prison sentence. Minister Dante Fortson’s perspective is especially interesting because he is only 26 years old.
In Religion and Relationships Minister Dante Fortson analyzes relationships by examining God’s relationships in the Bible. Through exploring God’s relationships in the Bible, Minister Dante Fortson discovers what he thinks we need to do to establish a meaningful and true relationship with God. Throughout Religion and Relationships Minister Dante Fortson not only analyzes the word of the Bible but he reads in-between the lines. You might not agree with the Minister’s assessment on everything, I didn’t, but you can’t deny Religion and Relationships is an intriguing read.
In the introduction of Religion and Relationships Minister Dante Fortson says he believes his book has something to offer everyone “from the Atheist to the Pastor in the pool pit, from the thief to the murderer”. As intriguing as Religion and Relationships is, I have to disagree. I believe anyone who holds faith in the Bible will be able to take something from Religion and Relationships. However, an Atheist would find Religion and Relationships to be nonsense because Minister Dante Fortson relies on the Bible to make his point and the Bible lacks credibility in an Atheist community.
While Atheists will think of Religion and Relationships as gibberish, anyone with faith in the Bible will find Minister Dante Fortson’s book thought provoking. My favorite part of the novel is how the Minister finds a way to give a fresh perspective on stories thousands of years old. For example, in Religion and Relationships Minister Dante Fortson looks at Abraham in a new light. Typically the focus when studying Abraham is Abraham’s loyalty to God. However, Minister Dante Fortson looks at something different. He reads in-between the lines. He questions the source of Abraham’s wealth. He reminds us Abraham gained a good portion of his riches by letting Pharaoh sleep with his wife, Sarah. Minister Dante Fortson points out in today’s society we would label that prostitution, and Abraham would be considered a pimp.
The Minister goes on to call Noah an alcoholic, Moses a murder, and points out the incest of Jacob (who marries two of his cousins). These are just the highlights of Chapter 5, in which Minister Dante Fortson examines those God has close relationships with. Minister Dante Fortson’s purpose is not to mock the Bible with his unique takes on beloved Bible characters. Rather, the Minister is making a point- God chooses to form relationships with those who have faults.
Today some church leaders and regular church goers have too much pride to admit their own faults. Church leaders shame you for your sins while church regulars brag about their perfect church attendance record. Minister Dante Fortson points out that in Jesus’ day church leaders were so full of themselves that they didn’t realize they had the son of God, in the living flesh, in their presence. As a result the son of God was crucified for our sins.
Minister Dante Fortson’s entire point of Religion and Relationships is there is more to a relationship with God than just going to church and shaming others for their sins. While I do not agree with everything Minister Dante Fortson writes in Religion and Relationships I agree with the Minister’s overall point. As long as you hold faith in the Bible, Religion and Relationships will have something to offer you. Whether you buy Religion and Relationships or borrow the book from a friend or neighbor I highly recommend reading Religion and Relationships.