Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism) - Frank Schaeffer
Religious fundamentalists and the New Atheists have much in common. They express truth claims that reek of false certainties, they seek to convert others to their opinions with evangelistic zeal, and they view outsiders to their "enlightened" perspective as enemies. The madness of extremism is not about religion, but about our distortions of religion.
Likewise, the removal of all religion will not lead to utopia: "If only making ourselves happy, kind, and tolerant were as simple as giving up religious faith. If that's all it took, the Soviet Union under Stalin and China under Mao would have been such nice places to live, and for that matter, our secularized Ivy League universities would be filled with saints, instead of back-stabbing intellectuals ready to destroy each other over who gets tenure" (3-4).
Religion exists because "moral/metaphysical/spiritual/aesthetic experiences are part of our lives" (65).
In the second half of the book, Schaeffer offers some personal reflections on his own faith. His thoughts on how many great part of our lives comes from the unplanned parts (and even mistakes) is profound. Sometimes he takes cheap potshots, but overall his writing is witty and inspiring. This is the follow-up to his outstanding memoir, Crazy for God.