What’s the point of living? Does God even exist? Are people who follow some religion stupid, while those more scientifically-minded more intelligent than them?
These are all questions Leo Tolstoy, one of the most brilliant writers to ever grace paper with a pen, answers with his own life. Some who’ve read some War and Peace may shudder at his name, but here Tolstoy writes with profound simplicity. Also, the personal touch of being from his own life adds a level of authenticity to it that is unseen in many books.
For over fifty years of his life, Tolstoy was absolutely against the idea of God and religion. He was an agnostic, and he completely lived for himself. Tolstoy found little significance in life, and yet he kept on living. If this fact, based on reason, is true, billions of people on the planet keep on living despite this.
Tolstoy struggled with the questions of existence, purpose, and God for years. He realized his life was one of selfishness and insignificance. In this book, he confidently points to the weaknesses in science and philosophy, and why they will never lead to any answers for life’s meaning. As the book goes from start to finish, you see his spiritual transformation unfold, as he explains his anecdotal and logical evidence for finding God. And while Tolstoy makes few references to the God of the Bible (he actually talks a great deal about general religion and spirituality), it is comforting to note that he in fact died a disciple of Jesus.
For a person who grew up in church their whole life, like me, this book is timeless. It allows you to see directly into the heart of someone with an opposite upbringing of mind. Toltoy’s Confession allowed me to connect with secular reasoning in a way I have never before. And for the person interested in apologetics, this book is a must. Always remember to bring your highlighter with you when you read (just don’t fall asleep with your highlighter in bed like I did…)!
While the short work of words ends sort-of abruptly and abstractly, the entire journey was engaging and fulfilling. I really look forward to meeting Tolstoy in the next life. I wasn’t disappointed here, and I don’t think you will be, either.
A Confession – This edition only costs $3.50!