Initially, when I read this paragraph by comedian (and Aimee Mann collaborator) Patton Oswalt I thought “Wow. That sounds like us theology nerds.”

In Japan, the word otaku refers to people who have obsessive, minute interests—especially stuff like anime or videogames. It comes from a term for “someone else’s house”—otaku live in their own, enclosed worlds. Or, at least, their lives follow patterns that are well outside the norm.

But then I realised that the trend to obsess in our own little worlds about our own little favourite books and writers cuts against the noble pursuit that theology actually is. It is not consumption but generation. If we’re just pursuing a hobby and ticking off the catalogues of things we’re interested in then we are not yet doing theology. It’s only when we are storing up to share that words about God can be spoken and understood.

Your Correspondent, His books could never create a private prison