Friday, September 5, 2008

The essence of sin

"Saints are perhaps always best evoked by sinners. And it would be hard to think of someone more at ease in the world of modern sin than Tony Hendra. He is and has been a brilliant satirist, an alum of National Lampoon in its glory days, an architect of the peerless parody rock documentary, 'This is Spinal Tap,' a man who has known (and tells us of) serial sex and drugs and rock and irony. But this extraordinary, luminescent, profound book shows us something wonderfully unexpected and deeply true. These ideas of sin that we have are not really sin. Or rather: they are the symptoms of sin, not its essence. And its essence is our withdrawal -- our willful withdrawal -- from God's love."

Andrew Sullivan, "The Saint and the Satirist," The New York Times Book Review, 30 May 2004, page 1, reviewing Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul.