6 OCTOBER 2007, Page 39

Surprising literary ventures

Gary Dexter A JOURNEY INTO GOD (1988) by Delia Smith A Journey into God is one of four books by Delia Smith on the subject of Christian spirituality, the others being A Journey into Prayer, A Feast for Lent and A Feast for Advent. Delia journeys into God painfully aware of her own lack of recipes. She takes the apophatic approach, describing God as what he is not: he is not `the Life-Stifler God', nor `the God of Fear and Anxiety' nor `the Cuddly-Bear God' nor `the God of the Well-Informed'. He lies outside human rationality, including human theological enquiry (which is useful, since it means you don't have to read Barth, Bultmann or Strauss). Delia, while a patient student of the Bible, is seduced, ultimately, by mysticism of no particular denomination. All the same A Journey into God is a reflective read and contains no namedropping or any hint that she is a celebrity and national institution: about the only time she mentions cookery is when she attacks microwave ovens for their unspiritual rapidity.