Reviews of God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher, where Philosophy and God unite to create "a captivating religious dialogue for the modern age."
God: An Autobiography,
As Told To A Philosopher
The true story of philosopher Dr. Jerry L. Martin and his conversations with God. Dr. Jerry L. Martin was a lifelong agnostic. But one day, he had occasion to pray. To his vast surprise. God answered- in words. Being a philosopher, God had a lot to tell him.
Supported by a global audience and diverse community of seekers, the podcast launched the dramatic adaptation with actor Scott Langdon, producing a continued discussion on spiritual development and God beyond religion, including interviews, dialogues, reactions, and special episodes. Where else do philosophy and God merge so understandably?
Readers Are Saying...
Great read for any religion, but mostly those of esoteric philosophy. This is one of those books where you will get out of it what you put into it. I read just one chapter every night, underlining and making notations, allowing what was said to sink in and ponder over it. Whether or not you want to accept the idea that Mr. Martin is actually hearing the voice of God, the conversations are insightful and poignant. Even if read as only Mr. Martin's philosophy, he highlights the truth that is already known to the soul and the importance of listening to your soul and not your ego. -Meredith
This surprisingly wonderful book is so brilliantly written. It is written with such honesty and backs everything said with scripture. There is true humor, dignity and even places that completely touched me to tears. Just as God spoke to Saul whom we all know became Paul one of Gods greatest spiritual followers, Jerry tells Gods story as God wanted it to be told. With an ever evolving newness and fresh perspective. I highly recommend this book to all!! Those who DO believe in GOD and those...yes even those that do not. Just as you would no undoubtedly read even Jerry the author of this book at one point did not believe in God. I believe he speaks a different tune now. This is an excellent read that I know I will read again and again. -Tobyann
Many people might find God's voice and words delusional, but the author took the oracle to new heights. Answering many basic biblical themes and questions, this book is a good resource for the unbeliever.Although the book lacks a cross reference with bible verses, it's a touching a warm story. The author's personal spiritual journey is deeply moving and a good change from the violence seen on the news. -Johnny
During my over 25 year spiritual journey I have read a large number of books on life and spirituality. God - an autobiography is the latest among them and it has given me the widest and deepest knowledge about God and what God is up to with humans on planet earth. Among many things, it importantly tells us about the role of humans vis-a-vis God and also how God is evolving as humans evolve. Though the book is an autobiography of God earnestly channeled by Jerry Martin a former professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder in USA, through whom God chooses to narrate the amazing experience during the Big Bang and also the revelation of the relationship with God beyond God - the soul of God, to me, this illuminating book has also served as a self-help guide! From the book I learnt what God would have us do to take forward the goal of the universe referred to as "telos". I also learnt and applied to my life a cardinal rule that we must be OBEDIENT to God… If you have even the slightest interest in spirituality, this is a book that you may end up reading more than once and there will be newness to it every time you read it. -Ajit
God, an Autobiography is clever. Clever because it takes the trope of theology, and fits it neatly into a series of inquiries, with the main witness as, well, God. Jerry L. Martin is not a believer, in any traditional sense. Yet, having left his early Christian upbringing, he was nevertheless enraptured with the concept of God. What to make of a being that transcends all times, cultures, and continents? What commonalities, or disjunctures can this idea of God reveal? Martin is by profession a philosopher, having taught at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His myriad studies, of great minds from across cultures, as far afield as India and China, not to mention the ancients, informs this work. We discover God to be aware of how difficult belief in him can be. After all, whole belief systems try to place him in various boxes, the easier to understand him. He might be self aware, but people need to define him so they can understand. And evil? Evil could have been when chaos reigned before God brought order. Chaos was the raging seas, stilled by God when he created the land, when he parted the Red Sea, when he rescued Noah, or when Jesus stilled the waters. Of course, be ready to see what other faiths, other belief systems say. Martin brings all his mastery of story telling to bear. Not Zoroaster, not moral perfectibility, not polytheism, nor ancient Egyptians escape his remarks. After all, he has all speculations on God to choose from. Some are indeed astounding. Some may make you read further. -John
As I began to read this book, I had the thought that how can an agnostic philosopher be able to write about God. First, his lack of faith. Second, the meaning of the word philosopher make him a person who is argumentative on certain ideas. Then when he began speaking of other religions other than the Catholic that I am, I wasn't sure where Mr. Martin was going with this. But as I read, he brought up a lot of the very ideas that I was fighting within myself. I have read Buddha, Lao Tzu, and many other different religions. How can all of these work together. But I have read in this book, just how it all happens. Will I stop being a Catholic or even a Christian? No. But do I understand God better by having read this book. A big YES. I can still be a good Catholic and still try to become more in tune with God. - Mike
God: An Autobiography as Told to a Philosopher provides a thought-provoking read from the viewpoint of a well-versed academic. For me, the book seems more along the lines of a philosophical survey or theological review derived from diverse belief systems. -Pam
Does the book come from divine guidance? That is a choice the reader has to make. My own belief is that God speaks to us all if we take the time to listen. -Laurel
This was such an interesting and thought provoking book that I really had to sit with and try and decide how I felt about the content of this book. I’m still pondering all of the doctrine presented in this book, but it certainly has brought up so many interesting conversations between family members that I have brought up these topics to. I certainly found that it helps to go into this book with a very open mind about listening to the voice of God, and being open about concepts that seem foreign to our everyday understanding of God and especially evangelical Christianity. I found the conversations with Jesus the most interesting and I couldn’t put the book down when reading these sections. I have so many questions for the author and would love to follow up his thoughts from the years after ending this book. Very interesting. -Moriah
It blew me away. One powerful read for sure. -Jessica
I am at a bit of a loss on what to say in this review. It is best if you read it for yourself and see what you think. Regardless, it is quite interesting. -Lori
A book which has positively influenced my thinking about God and my understanding of my relationship to God. I would strongly encourage persons of every faith and of no faith to read this book. -Michael
For those of us who like to think about topics in philosophy and God, what is more "intellectually fertile than rich theological speculation..."
"After reading Jerry Martin’s God: An Autobiography, as Told to a Philosopher, the answer is now clear: a continuous self-disclosure on the part of the divine to a former agnostic with philosophical training.
Martin is not only acutely sensitive to the implications of what is being revealed, he demonstrates a knack for asking just the right questions.
And this is precisely what makes God: An Autobiography such a profoundly satisfying read, regardless of whether or not the reader believes that the voice of God is truly the book’s co-author, or that the entire conversation is a product of Martin’s vibrant and cultivated inner life.
One thing we are treated to in God: An Autobiography is a unique and expansive introduction to the world’s religions on par with the best courses on the topic—I know this because I have been teaching this subject for almost twenty years.
By the time one is three-quarters through the book, classical Chinese thought, Zoroaster, biblical Judaism, the Upanishads, the Mahabharata, Buddhism, and Jesus have all made their appearances. The fresh and insightful take on each of the above is itself a good reason to read God: An Autobiography. Included here is an intriguing justification of reincarnation, an interpretation of the Hindu notion of the Atman or deeper part of the soul, a powerful view of the significance of Jesus, and much else. But this is no bland affirmation of every spiritual inclination, for at times the revelations are outright provocative. Among other things, Martin’s divine Interlocutor offers a flat rejection of the Buddhist concept of sunyata, or the void, and a compelling critique of the more acosmistic and otherworldly tones of Vedanta thought.
Just when the reader thinks their mind has been stretched toward its far limit in regards to religious ideas, the book opens toward broader cosmological and eschatological matters.
Here we find a consciousness-expanding and even hallucinatory account of a multiplicity of different worlds, of the connection between our temporal and finite experience with the possibility of spiritual fulfillment, of the relationship between the personal and volitional deity of revelation with the “God beyond God,” and far more than I can effectively summarize. After finishing these chapters I had so many thoughts and questions in my head I couldn’t even jot them all down. I will not attempt to summarize the treasures found in these pages, but will only beckon the readers to enter and see for themselves. I will state however that there is much in this book that may transform how we discuss the most intractable theological conundrums. Chief among these is the age-old problem of “theodicy,” or the quest to reconcile the existence of God in the face of evil, along with the questions of religious pluralism and competing revelations.
Each reader may very well discover an answer to a puzzle fueling much of their life and thought.
For my own part, this is the tension between a contemplative and mystical mode of the spiritual life, one of a descent into the depths of the psyche or a ground of the soul, with the more rigorously world-engaging and ethical one. In a nutshell, no matter what one believes concerning the source of the revelations in God: An Autobiography, as Told to a Philosopher, Martin has delivered us the most path-breaking material for future philosophical and theological reflection I have come across in a long time.
I simply cannot recommend this stunning book enough.
- Jonathan Weidenbaum is Professor of Liberal Arts at Berkeley College in New York City.
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.
A captivating religious dialogue for the modern age.
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. - Kirkus Review
Yet as such, it’s a revelation.
Theology Without Walls
A Transreligious Imperative
Twenty-one scholars explore the different avenues new theological thinking open up. Including sympathetic critics, the collection taken as a whole is much stronger than any single essay read apart. Together, they make a powerful case for the importance and potential of Theology Without Walls.
Theology Without Walls is a cooperative, constructive, trans-religious theological project that aims to understand the nature of ultimate reality. Evidence and insight of ultimate reality is not limited to a single tradition. People who engage in serious study beyond their own tradition frequently find revelation, enlightenment, or insight into ultimate reality in multiple traditions. Therefore, theology should be based on evidence and insights from multiple traditions.