David Dark chooses to write this book based on what he has experienced through life and what he has been able to learn from others. He chooses to subtly portray his religious beliefs while also trying not to offend anybody who is determined that they are not religious. That is what is so great about this piece of work, it appeals to both sides of the spectrum. It appeals to those who are strong in their own religious beliefs and it appeals to those who choose to say that they will never be religious. Those who are not religious may take a look at the title and choose that they would rather be thrown into a pit of fire before ever attempting to read a book that has the title Life’s too short to pretend you’re not religious. That’s the beauty of the way Dark chooses to subtly portray religion into everyday life. In fact, that is the basis for the latter part of the book. The basis that everyone’s everyday life, without them knowing it or not, is religious. Dark currently teaches theology at Belmont University and is the author of other pieces of other theological literature. Such as, The Sacredness of Questioning Everything and The Gospel According to America. These pieces of work add to his credibility as an author and who better to write a book that tries to convince people that everything people do is religious, then the Professor of Theology, David Dark.
To begin with, Dark chooses to appeal to the opposite of his understanding. “No one doesn’t believe in God as much as I do.” (11) Dark chooses to begin the book with this statement to start on the other side of the spectrum. He wants the readers to start at the bottom and slowly get hooked by the way he states his arguments. His arguments are done so well that many don’t even realize that they are being persuaded until the end of the book. By that time you have no choice but to consider Darks arguments and their validity. Dark also uses his biblical text references to perfectly contrast the every day religion that he chooses to embed into the minds of others.
Moving along, the readers are able to notice some foremost themes throughout Dark’s words. The theme that everyone is shaped by a story and that means that everyone is where they’re at due to the way that their lives have played out. For instance, baseball players wouldn’t be where they are currently at in life if it wasn’t because of their parents who brought them to play T-ball when they were younger. The big thing here is that everyone has a story and everyone can learn from the stories of others around them. For many people, their story has been shaped by those around them, especially their families. As a child, they learn basic skills and learn what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. Which then translates on to their life as an adult. In another light, everyone learns from their past and the past of others. Incidentally, that leads into the next theme of communication. Dark encourages deep and meaningful communication with others throughout the book. Communication is key to who everyone is as human beings and key to learning even further.
Lastly, Life’s too short to pretend you’re not religious portrays the idea that everyone is in fact religious. Not in the way that many might think, but through the idea that religion is something that people do every day. Religion is just what people do! The book iterates that the way people think and act expresses their religion. In this case, what people stand for morally is in fact religious. Dark wants those to understand that by the grace of God, religion is all around us. There is nothing that anyone can do to change the love that God continues to poor down on each and every one of us.