An atheist philosopher finds himself in a surprising series of conversations with God.
One of the two main characters in Martin’s debut is the author himself, whose own Christian faith didn’t survive even a rudimentary college philosophy class, “where arguments for the existence of God were shot down like clay pigeons.” The secular philosopher opens his book with a quick account of falling in love with the woman who would become his wife, but the focus shifts almost immediately to a mysterious voice he begins sensing, identifying itself as “the God of all” and heard only by Martin. After a good deal of initial doubts, he decides to embrace the experience, even though at first it resembles “a training in obedience,” with the voice ordering him around on trivial matters seemingly at random. But gradually, larger issues and disclosures begin to surface. And Martin shares a great many of these revelations in an immensely readable prose that’s reverential but completely accessible to nonbelievers. His portrait of God is a remarkable dramatic construct, a vastly enigmatic being seized with an urge to unveil Himself in detail. This is a God who dwelled for unbounded ages in a formless void before existence began and He started to evolve along with it, shaping space and matter toward His eventual relationship with humankind, a process of creating Himself. Martin’s version of God is often every bit as argumentative and contradictory as the one found in the Bible, but this volume’s narration helps smooth things over: it’s easily literate (quotes from many authors abound) and excellent at clarifying the deep philosophical subjects covered as the dialogue progresses. Martin’s deity talks about being part of non-Christian texts like the Upanishads and the Mahabharata (and even discusses the “rebel” pharaoh Akhenaten), but nevertheless, this book chronicles one man’s encounter with the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Yet as such, it’s a revelation.
A captivating religious dialogue for the modern age.