What is important:
We were living in Memphis, Tennessee, where my dad was going to college on the G.I. Bill. We attended my grandmother’s Pentecostal church. I would listen to what grownups said and try to think whether they were true or not—especially when they contradicted themselves. If heaven was a place of eternal joy, why didn’t they rejoice when somebody died? They made way too much of dressing up for church, when what mattered—they said—was the state of your soul.
“Lord, I took things people said seriously and placed the highest value on truth and on being right with God.”
Yes, that is important!
God: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher – is the true story of a philosopher’s conversations with God. Dr. Jerry L. Martin, a lifelong agnostic. Dr. Martin served as head of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Colorado philosophy department, is the founding chairman of the Theology Without Walls group at AAR, and editor of Theology Without Walls: The Transreligious Imperative. Dr. Martin’s work has prepared him to become a serious reporter of God’s narrative, experiences, evolution, and autobiography. In addition to scholarly publications, Dr. Martin has testified before Congress on educational policy. He has appeared on “World News Tonight,” and other television news programs.
Listen to this on God: An Autobiography, The Podcast– the dramatic adaptation and continuing discussion of the book God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher by Jerry L. Martin.
He was a lifelong agnostic, but one day he had an occasion to pray. To his vast surprise, God answered- in words. Being a philosopher, he had a lot of questions, and God had a lot to tell him
2 thoughts on ““Yes, that is important!””
Wayne Rumsby February 20, 2013
I feel as though we’re friends, not for years, or miles, but simply because we choose to share stories. I started following your story because I was going through a time of questioning the Bible. I’m not sure that it’s this perfect little owners manual that I’ve been told it is. I do value it as scripture, even scripture of great value, but calling it “The Word of God” seems to imply that’s all he had to say. It also implies that he’s dead, relationally anyway. So I asked the question, has God stopped breathing, and someone directed me to your writing. I read chapter 45 last night and it took my breath away.
Jerry L Martin February 24, 2013
Wayne, the idea that the Bible is, as you so aptly put it, an owner’s manual leads to a faith so brittle that it can snap and leave the believer in spiritual despair. God surely speaks to us through the Bible, as He spoke to those in the Bible, but it is not God’s only word, and it is not God’s last word. God breathes and speaks to us still, not only in words, but also in conscience and love, and in clues and hints that you have to watch for or you miss them.
Thanks, my friend, for continuing to share your personal journey with us.