A. J. Jacobs

I’m all for cafeteria religion. I think there’s nothing wrong with cafeterias – I’ve had some great meals at cafeterias. I’ve also had some horrible meals, so it’s important to pick the right things. Take a heaping helping of compassion and mercy, and leave the intolerance on the table.

I tried the paleo diet, which is the caveman diet – lots of meat. I tried the raw food vegan diet. And I tried the calorie restriction diet, which is the idea is that if you eat very, very little – if you’re on the verge of starvation, you will live a very long time. Whether or not you want to, of course, is the idea.

The whole bible is the working out of the relationship between God and man. God is not a dictator barking out orders and demanding silent obedience. Were it so, there would be no relationship at all. No real relationship goes just one way. There are always two active parties. We must have reverence and awe for God, and honor for the chain of tradition. But that doesn’t mean we can’t use new information to help us read the holy texts in new ways.