This book won't be for everyone. I think that is fairly obvious. But her questions about God sounded like those in my own head. And her frustration with the church's simplification echoed my own. My own experience was like this:
Evangelical: God is so much bigger than you can even imagine.
Me: So he might actually be she?
Evangelical: Don't be silly. He is just like a father.
Me: So there is no way he would wipe out populations of people, right?
Evangelical: No, he can do that and be just like your father too.
In summary, God is so much bigger than we can even imagine, but he prefers America, hates anyone who criticizes Israel, hates gay marriage, and likes capitalism and private property. But we can't really know him. If something good happens that we prayed for--that is proof that God answers prayer. If something bad happens that we prayed for--that is proof that we can't understand God's purpose and will. Even though we understood it when we liked the outcome.
God becomes, in that sense, everything and nothing. He is in complete control, but sometimes things happen that he clearly could not have wanted to happen, but he allowed that to happen because of some other reason. We are to have a close personal relationship with him--closer than that with our closest human connections, but can't really know him. And he might still smite us--as he has that opportunity and his "ways are higher than our ways."
She recounts a similar response to the torture revelations from Iraq. I think it is hard to completely explain how difficult that moment was for me. Well, not that moment as I am well aware of the evil that men do. But when the conservative church endorsed, or at best, shrugged off the evil of torture, something died for me. Their God didn't mind that because, as Bristol Pail said the other day, "God is on our side." He prefers us to those Muslims. I expected those who talked about how big God was, and who recounted the stories of Jesus as shepherd, finding that one lost sheep--I expected them to weep when they discovered that Bush was torturing in our name.
But they didn't. They didn't even come close. And their God didn't say anything to them. Still hasn't.