GOD: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher - The Podcast

122. [NEW SERIES] From God To Jerry To You | An Inconvenient God

April 13, 2023 Jerry L. Martin
GOD: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher - The Podcast
122. [NEW SERIES] From God To Jerry To You | An Inconvenient God
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

There is a direct message waiting for you from the man who hears from God. From God To Jerry To You is a brand new series calling for the attention of spiritual seekers everywhere. Featuring breakthroughs, pathways, and illuminations, Dr. Jerry L. Martin shares a deeply insightful straight-talk inspired by humankind's most profound questions and answers from God.

Jerry asks us to consider what kind of God we would pick if we had our choice. An all-powerful wish-granting God? A God who shields us from all suffering? A God of convenience? We live in an inconvenient world... what if God was an inconvenient God?

God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher, is written by Dr. Jerry L. Martin, an agnostic philosopher who heard the voice of God and recorded their conversations. Dr. Jerry L. Martin, was head of the National Endowment for the Humanities and of the philosophy department at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and founder of Theology Without Walls.

The podcast began with the Dramatic Adaptation of the book and now has several series:

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READ- Suffering Is The Law Of Growth In The Universe

WATCH- An Inconvenient God

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Scott Langdon [00:00:17] This is God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. A 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. Episode 122.

Scott Langdon [00:01:06] Welcome to episode 122 of God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. I'm your host, Scott Langton. Today on the podcast, we're excited to bring you something special from Jerry Martin, An Inconvenient God. In this brief message, Jerry asks us to consider what type of God we would choose if we had the ability to do such a thing. It might not be as straightforward a choice as you might think. Here now is Jerry to explain what God told him in God: An Autobiography As Told To A Philosopher. I hope you enjoy the episode. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:02:00] Suppose we got to pick what kind of God there would be- what kind of God would we choose? If God were made to order, like something you can buy on the internet, what kind of God would we pick? Human nature being what it is, we would probably want a God that makes everything comfortable for us -- a convenient God, one who gets us a better job, helps us find a parking place and, when we hurt ourselves, kisses it like mommy and makes it better. A convenient God is a wish-fulfillment God. Sounds nice, but is that the kind of God we encounter in our lives? Or is the world we live in an inconvenient world? And the God who shares our journey in it is an inconvenient God, one who throws us into a rough world and makes demands on us, such as the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. And the correct response is an inconvenient prayer: “Thy will,” not my will, “be done.” Suppose instead of starting with our fantasy vision of what a perfect world would be, we start with the real world and ask, in light of its rocky paths, what kind of God is present here? And what divine purpose is served by throwing us into such a world?

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:03:34] It's a puzzlement. But here is a possible clue.Real life is a drama. It has ups and downs, loves and losses, triumphs and failures, days we rise to our best and times we fall to our worst. Our lives are like obstacle courses or quests where pits must be avoided and dragons slain. What could possibly be the purpose of such lives? Any good parent knows. Any good coach knows. Readers of quest tales know. We do not grow from luxury. A convenient God would, like an overprotective parent, save us from learning life’s lessons. The purpose of our lives is not just ease or pure pleasure or wish fulfillment. As I was told in prayer, “The purpose of life is not to sit in the lap of luxury.” Why not? Wouldn’t that be a great life, one a loving God would want to give us? Well, ask yourself, would you want your child, at a young age, to win a billion dollar lottery, to be able to buy whatever and whomever the darling desires, to live 2 in a protective bubble that would keep disease and hurt out? Would that even be a life? I was told, “Immersion in the world – with its causal networks, its guilty resistance – is necessary for growth. One needs a hard reality to work against. Otherwise, nothing would be serious.” We grow from adversity, from challenges. Sometimes we learn more from failing than from succeeding. My colleague, the economist Kenneth Boulding, used to say, “nothing succeeds like failure.” It is failure, he would say, that tells us where the edge of the cliff is. Or that a line of cocaine does not lead to happiness. Nor does unbounded lust ground a life of love. As a drama, life has a meaning, shaped by how we cope with the ups and downs, how we deal with our own mistakes and the cruelties inflicted on us, and yet remain open to love and hope.

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:06:35]When my wife and I got married, we included the Twenty-third Psalm in the ceremony. It is usually used only at funerals. But we knew that all of life is a Valley of the Shadow of Death but that God is with us whatever we face. Why is there suffering? I was told in prayer, “Suffering is the law of growth.” We grow only through suffering. Even to love is to suffer. We talk about a perfect God and expect him to be writing the perfect script – as if everything were programmed from the beginning. My sense is that God doesn’t lay out the story in advance, and have us walk through. We write our own script with God as co-author. We create our own dramas, with God as partner – when we are paying attention. In prayer, I was told that the world is like an improv theatre in which God is the director -- of players who aren’t listening. A “perfect” world may not even be desirable. Imagine a world without suffering, where no matter what we did, everything turned up roses. It would be a world in which actions had no consequences. It would not be a real world at all, but a hologram world, and we would be hologram people. Real life is lived in an inconvenient world in partnership with an inconvenient God. It is a tough life in which God is not overprotective, but is always on our side. When we are in harmony with the divine and enjoying life’s bounty, God rejoices. When we are errant or in pain, God suffers. Maybe the real world – inhabited by the flawed people that we are -- is not convenient for God either. God is part of our drama and we are part of God’s. Weare in this together.

Scott Langdon [00:09:37] Thank you for listening to God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. Subscribe for free today wherever you listen to your podcasts and hear a new episode every week. You can hear the complete dramatic adaptation of God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher by Jerry L. Martin by beginning with episode one of our podcast and listening through its conclusion with Episode 44. You can read the original true story in the book from which this podcast is adapted, God: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher, available now at amazon.com, and always at godanautobiography.com. Pick up your own copy today. If you have any questions about this or any other episode, please email us at questions@godanautobiography.com, and experience the world from God's perspective as it was told to a philosopher. This is Scott Langdon. I'll see you next time. 

What Kind Of God Would You Choose?
Real Life Is A Drama
Partners In An Inconvenient World
Outro And Contact Information