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

53. Marriage, Philosophy, And Revelations | Interviews: Scott Asks Jerry And Abigail

December 16, 2021 Jerry L. Martin, Scott Langdon, Abigail Rosenthal
53. Marriage, Philosophy, And Revelations | Interviews: Scott Asks Jerry And Abigail
GOD: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher - The Podcast
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GOD: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher - The Podcast
53. Marriage, Philosophy, And Revelations | Interviews: Scott Asks Jerry And Abigail
Dec 16, 2021
Jerry L. Martin, Scott Langdon, Abigail Rosenthal

Questions? Comments? Text Us!

Join the meaningful discussion of the book God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher by Jerry L. Martin. Discover more about the book, history, humankind, spirituality, and God through the first of a continuous series of ambitious interviews with insightful guests. 

Join Scott Langdon as he interviews the married philosophers and authors, Dr. Abigail Rosenthal and Dr. Jerry L. Martin, together for the first time.

Dr. Abigail L. Rosenthal is Professor Emerita at Brooklyn College of The City University of New York. She is the author of Confessions of A Young Philosopher (forthcoming), Pulitzer Prize nominee, A Good Look at Evil, and Dear Abbie: The Non-Advice Column.

Dr. Jerry L. Martin has served as the head of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Colorado philosophy department, work that has prepared Dr. Martin for his conversations with God and to become a serious reporter documented in his book, God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher. Dr. Martin is the founding chairman of the Theology Without Walls group at the American Academy of Religion and editor of, Theology Without Walls: The Transreligious Imperative (Routledge 2019).

Related Content: Dear Abbie- The Non-Advice Podcast

Read God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher.

Would You Like To Share Your Experience With God? We Want To Hear About Your Spiritual Journey!

Share Your Story | Site | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube |

Show Notes Transcript

Questions? Comments? Text Us!

Join the meaningful discussion of the book God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher by Jerry L. Martin. Discover more about the book, history, humankind, spirituality, and God through the first of a continuous series of ambitious interviews with insightful guests. 

Join Scott Langdon as he interviews the married philosophers and authors, Dr. Abigail Rosenthal and Dr. Jerry L. Martin, together for the first time.

Dr. Abigail L. Rosenthal is Professor Emerita at Brooklyn College of The City University of New York. She is the author of Confessions of A Young Philosopher (forthcoming), Pulitzer Prize nominee, A Good Look at Evil, and Dear Abbie: The Non-Advice Column.

Dr. Jerry L. Martin has served as the head of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Colorado philosophy department, work that has prepared Dr. Martin for his conversations with God and to become a serious reporter documented in his book, God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher. Dr. Martin is the founding chairman of the Theology Without Walls group at the American Academy of Religion and editor of, Theology Without Walls: The Transreligious Imperative (Routledge 2019).

Related Content: Dear Abbie- The Non-Advice Podcast

Read God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher.

Would You Like To Share Your Experience With God? We Want To Hear About Your Spiritual Journey!

Share Your Story | Site | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube |

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 53. 

Scott Langdon [00:01:13] Hello and welcome to Episode 53 of God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. I'm your host, Scott Langdon. In this week's episode of the podcast, I sit down with Jerry Martin and Abigail Rosenthal, a husband and wife whose love story is in many ways at the very heart of this entire project. After having interviewed each of them separately, I still thought there would be enormous value in hearing about their love story and the way God has shifted their lives and mine. Boy was I right. Here is our complete conversation. I hope you enjoy the episode. I'll see you next time. 

Scott Langdon [00:02:00] Well, hello there, Jerry Martin and Abigail Rosenthal-Martin. It's good to see you both and talk to you today

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:02:07] Good to see you, Scott.

Scott Langdon [00:02:09] Now, I talked to you both individually and I loved doing that, being able to ask some questions that I didn't necessarily want to ask while we were in the middle of making the project. You know, we talked about that before, Jerry, you know, wanted to have some surprises of my own, you know, kind of thing, but throughout this process, we did talk a lot about what this book is rooted in. And why I have said it, is really since the beginning, we've talked about how God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher, was dramatic, but I also said it was a love story. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:02:51] Yes. 

Scott Langdon [00:02:51] I felt like it was a love story. It's a love story with you and God, and God and the human race, but rooted in love for one another. And specifically, a love story between you and Abigail. Before we get into the effect of that, I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the background about how you met. It's in the book a little bit, but if we could hear a little bit about your perspectives on how you actually came to meet, and I know it sort of influenced or initially set up because of a situation Abigail had. So, I'll start with you, Abigail. Could you talk about what led up to your meeting? 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:03:37] Yeah. The administration of Brooklyn College, or the City University of New York, had decided to transform our prizewinning liberal arts curriculum into a curriculum centered around the borough of Brooklyn. Poetry of Brooklyn, Geology of Brooklyn, philosophy of Brooklyn, math. Their parents get off the boat and they're trying to get to America, and Brooklyn College is a port of entry, and instead, they're thrown back on the Ellis Island on which they landed. So, those of us devoted to public education thought, “Over our dead body.” The plural came down to two ladies, one in the history department and me in the philosophy department, and we called around. Can somebody help us? Because the faculty was narrowly divided, the administration holding the works and strings, but still dedicated people on the other side thinking, no, I can't do that to those students. And we needed some outside help, and Jerry was the only one who picked up the phone of the other big shots we called, and he was running an organization in Washington devoted to championing a liberal arts quality core curriculum, and he and I began to talk. Since I can't fight my way out of a paper bag, but I can take advice, he found me unique in that respect- that if you do something unlike all the other hotshot academics, I would actually do it. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:05:47] Yeah, I told her we need evidence. This is going to undermine the award winning core curriculum. And the next day she calls, she's got it. And she said, "Oh, everybody knows." And I said, "For reporters, what everybody knows doesn't count for anything. You need documents." And the next day she calls, she's got the documents. And that makes it quite explicit from the administration. And I said the only way to win a fight like this is to go public, because on campus, the administration controls all the cards, and mainly that means budgets for whatever department. So we went public, and in the course of months, as this played out in the press, Abigail and I talked almost every day, strategizing, making moves and so forth. And through the course of that, I fell in love with her. In a trench, you learn a lot about your copartner, and also, she's just a remarkable woman, and that radiated across the telephone lines. And I thought, wow. And from that point on, I wasn't interested in any other woman, even though I had been single long enough, but fell in love with her. 

Scott Langdon [00:07:01] Yeah. Yeah. There's a quote, Abigail, that you responded to the-- what is the line? What is it, Jerry? She responded. Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:07:13] "The summons of love." Yeah. 

Scott Langdon [00:07:15] The summons of love. Can you talk, Abigail, about what the summons of love feels like? 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:07:22] Oh, well... I call myself romantic simply because I've noticed that there are some people who don't seem to hear that tune when it plays, but I take it very seriously. It's in bodice busters or chick flicks, so this is kitsch, but I think it's the real deal. It's something you can't get over it, you can't get under it, you can't get around it. And you could with main force and suffixital tricks of the mind, compress it into something little and put it over to the side, but you would be fooling maybe the folks, but you would not be fooling yourself and you wouldn't trust yourself after that. And, you know, if you're a teacher, if you're in the world that deals with a larger community, as you are as an actor, Scott, you know, you have to trust yourself. What you present has to be believable and you can't even work if you think you're a phony. If you think something a little bit distorted that goes deep, that goes to your very center of meaning. So, I call that a summons, so they don't blow a trumpet, but I hear it that way. 

Scott Langdon [00:08:56] Yeah. You know, Jerry talks about not having ever believed in love in that kind of way. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:09:05] Right. 

Scott Langdon [00:09:07] Before this happens. I did, I myself did, all of my-- and still do to a fault, quote unquote. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:09:18] Okay. 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:09:18] It's always to a fault. 

Scott Langdon [00:09:21] And you know, it's just because I-- what it is essentially it's a feeling. It is a feeling, and you want more of that feeling. And I realized that most of my life I was in a place of lack, of coming from a place of a feeling as though I had lack and needed to have what this feeling was. And whenever it would come up, I really wanted to get it and keep it because it might not be there again. And then next thing you know, you're trying to collect them all and you know, you can't collect. And I just even though I had very often a person or folks in my life that I would feel this way about, it still felt like there was something else to have. But recently I shifted my understanding, or at least my articulation of what I think love is, and specifically romantic love that I see in another the manifestation of God. So, I see the-- I have a recognition of our shared being in this other person. And I'm drawn to that love, the essence of God is a drawing of us, and we're drawn to that individual. And when I get my ego involved and I want to keep that and hold that, and I can't live without that, that's the ego involved. But an egoless experience of that just becomes this ease of wanting. Just being with that person. And not- what do I need to do, what am I not doing, am I doing this right? It's just this ease and you just want to be around them more and more. Jerry, was there a point during these conversations that you thought, this is happening to me? I see that in talking with Abigail, the recognition of something spectacular. Was there a moment? You said that she talks the way Tolstoy writes? 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:11:32] Yes. She's a wonderful talker. As people learn. But she talks best over breakfast. 

Scott Langdon [00:11:38] All right. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:11:39] Spontaneous topics come up and it's wonderful. But I can remember the actual conversation. After which, she would often call on Friday, late in the day, and I was at home and we would talk for a long time, and normally I hate talking on the phone. As soon as I'm on the phone, I want to get off. But I would sit there and we'd talk for 2 hours, you know, and this was wonderful. And I can remember the particular conversation. Where I thought, "Wow, this is a remarkable woman." And I could see I was responding to her and that was, for me, the phenomenon, I guess. I have not believed in romantic love. I thought I was looking for compatibility. I had a Myers-Briggs profile in mind of the kind of woman who would fit me. And wow, this was not like this. And I guess I didn't go, you know, see God in her. I didn't believe in God. That was not part of my vocabulary at the time. I was in love with her, you know, just the particularity, the glowing particularity of her. 

Scott Langdon [00:12:46] Yeah. Yeah. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:12:47] That's what led me to open horizons. And I started to think, "Wow, what is this?" And pondering it more. 

Scott Langdon [00:12:54] Yeah. Yeah. Abigail, what was your experience like? 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:12:59] Yeah. I'll just preface this by saying I had a model, and it wasn't exactly like yours, Scott. It was biblical. You wouldn't think that Hebrew scripture is a bodice buster. People don't say that's what's wrong with it or that's what's good, but there are these intensely romantic slices in that story. And one is Jacob and Rachel. 

Scott Langdon [00:13:33] Yeah. 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:13:34] "Seven years, they passed like days for the love of her." And also, the song of Psalms, which is, where the whole landscape is saturated. And as a child, I had picked up on that because there were grownups who mirrored that, and I thought, "No, this is the template. This is where it is." And I thought it was a really interesting thing, both highly personal, idiosyncratic, erotic, but also political, because marriage is a statement in this society. Anyway, to my point, you asked me what point, where, what tipped it. Since I was distracted by my great concern for Brooklyn College, which I seldom think about today, but in those days filled the whole screen. You know, maybe it was defensive? You know, I don't want to look at this, so I'll look at something else. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:14:37] She called me at one point and said, "We have to keep our mind on Brooklyn College, is the goal." And I said-- 

Scott Langdon [00:14:42] Yes- you've got to make sure. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:14:43] Right. 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:14:44] Never forget this precious place. But, I decided, don't laugh, but there's a technique in phenomenology called the phenomenological reduction described by Edmund Husserl. And you know who, Scott, that, you know, can answer a question about when did you know you were in love? Beginning that way, you know, the phenomenological reduction. So, what you do is you bracket out real life with its consequences, its weights, its fears, its needs, and you just look at what appears- the phenomena. So, I thought I would bracket my fears and just look at my consciousness. What am I looking at here? What is going on? It's a good technique, and all of a sudden, greatly surprising me, I felt like Alice plunging down the rabbit hole. Oh, oh, oh, oh. Stop me. Oh, my God. And I want to crawl out again, because this is a disadvantage, and, you know, girls have to watch their footing. You can't be in love, you'll be vulnerable. You can't do that. And so, trying not to be vulnerable, I'm scrambling back up, but I can't get back up. Oh my God. Oh Lord, this changes everything. So yeah, it was an actual moment, and it was bigger than both of me, and I tried hard not to get there. But, you know, I won't lie to myself. I was there. 

Scott Langdon [00:16:31] Yes, yes. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:16:32] Something I felt sure about from the beginning was that I would be a very safe partner for her. That she was full of fears, which I understood. Women are vulnerable in many ways that men normally or not. But I just knew that I would be there for her, and I was in love with her. And something I often say, and I think it's relevant to the whole book, God: An Autobiography, it's a term from analytic philosophy. You deal with philosophers; we process these things that way. They have the concept of achievement words, achievement verbs. Look is not an achievement verb, but see is, because you could look and fail to see, but if you see that you've achieved the goal of looking. And I often think about love that people mistake love for just the woozy feeling, but no, it's an achievement verb. And I told Abigail early, you'd be easy to fall in love with, but hard to love. And what I meant by that is a person- she's a superb person and a complex person, and you have to take that in, and part of the achievement of love with another person is understanding them. You know, where are they coming from? Why did they have the reactions they have? Occasionally she's been fearful of something that I thought was really not a risk at all. And it would seem kind of funny to me. And so I would feel a kind of smile, but I would then remind myself, but this is serious to her, and that's what we have to deal with. So that's why love is an achievement. I think, for the whole, for God and the universe and all of us, the challenge is not just to have warm feelings toward each other. Those come and go and they're nice and they have their place, but to pull off the achievement of loving is quite a challenge. 

Scott Langdon [00:18:38] The way that you just articulated that about love, would you have been able to articulate it that way had you not met Abigail, or was there a transformational aspect of loving specifically Abigail that has led you to articulate things the way you just did? 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:18:58] Oh, it totally comes out of the actual experience. It's funny because I did say that to her very early, but that was because it was her. Again, if I had just found a profile in compatibility, this wouldn't have been on my mind at all. You know, you have the getting along problems, the negotiating differences problems, these rather ordinary things. Whereas the achievement of love is something added to those. It's deeper. It has more meaning and more permanence or something in durability, sustainability. 

Scott Langdon [00:20:04] Well, Jerry, we know that your work life changed dramatically when this all happened, obviously, and we talked, we get into the book and obviously the podcast traces the place where God says, "okay, your work here is through."

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:20:20] Is done. 

Scott Langdon [00:20:21] Meaning your time at the National Endowment for the Humanities and moving on to kind of doing this thing full time, and so as a result of this love story, your work, professional work has altered. Abigail, how do you see your professional work changing as a result of this encounter and accepting that going forward with Jerry and embracing his journey? It must have changed, I mean, we just talked about Brooklyn College, was the whole screen there when you met, and you've since retired, but how has your personal work changed? 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:20:59] Gee. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:21:00] Good question. 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:21:03] Yeah, it was. Well, to begin with, I really took a risk that everyone advised me not to take, which was to take early retirement. Normally, tenure is something a lady like me would kill for, or I mean, theoretically, I'm quite nonviolent. Understand, I wouldn't kill a ladybug, but as they say, would kill for. And so there I am in my city apartment on the Upper East Side, rent controlled within walking distance of the Garden of Eden, the Metropolitan Museum, the Carnegie, the National American, whatever it is, anyway, every place I, you know, Japanese tea house, you name it, my life is complete except for happiness on the personal front. And, you know, nobody gets it all, and all of a sudden, a summons of love. And I was widely advised to commute. It's perfect, girl. You won't have to get sick of each other, one's in Washington, one's in Manhattan. Just, you know, you got it all. Except that the summons of love said no. I've got a fraction. We don't know each other in the round. We don't know each other 24/7. We can't tell, is this only a weekend thing? And being a philosoph, as Aristotle says, all men, meaning men and girls, snip that out, Scott, all men by nature, desire to know in the unisex sense of men, and so I desired to know, you know, is this real? Because, you know, you just want to know. Philosophy begins in wonder, and, so, if it's 24/7, then we have to live together. We don't live together, and after several false starts, we finally decided we got to pick a place that is together. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:23:25] We did not want a weekend romance. Our weekends together were wonderful because that was the only time, we could be together, a romantic dinner and all, but we wanted to make a life together. And it was very challenging. 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:23:40] Anyway, so you give up institutional definition, and, hey, how to be nobody? Instant nobody. And I know at least one other woman who gave up her career for the romance, and it was a disaster. So I can't advise people to do this, you just do what hand over hand, you do what makes sense. That you can see right in front of you, because I wanted to know. This was the real thing that I'd met with, and, you know, how real is that? As things turned out, you know, telescoping some very difficult moments, I could work better at what I work at. The articles that I had never been able to finish, somehow situated within the universe cosmos, I think, is the right words, spacial arena of our world that we shared. I was more whole and that meant I could put the puzzle pieces together of something I hadn't solved. I was thinking in different ways, and that began to multiply to cascade, to accelerate, and I won't list all the projects that I never would have embarked on or wouldn't have done that way. But yeah, as it happened, with God's help, you know, as it happened, and of course, I pray, you know, and I didn't receive, "Stop. Go back to your place. You're out of line." Always go forward, go take what was for a liberated, modern woman a risk you do not take. That was what I took and it was the right thing to do. 

Scott Langdon [00:26:00] Yeah. Yeah. Let me ask you about marriage as a partnership. Okay. So, if marriage is a partnership and I'll start with you, Jerry, on this question, if marriage is a partnership, what makes Abigail a good partner? 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:26:23] You know, I never think about that. It's funny that you ask. You know, I don't have a list of criteria for a good partnership. It's really, we both I would say we both care very much about making the other person happy. And so, if we have a conflict, the kind of spat it's often over, one of us thinking, the other person is accusing us of not having made them happy, because that's our earnest desire and that seemed to just flow out of the love itself. She's a wonderful partner, professionally, in editorial work. You know everything I do, she passes by. There's one piece I wrote and wrote and wrote and revised and revised, revised, she never liked it. Well, I just dropped it, I thought this would be a bad idea, you know? And I do the same for her, we're each other's editors, and, of course, we talk a lot of philosophy and religion and spirituality and real life and influence each other, and so that enormous vitality of this kind of interaction is a great gift that she brings to me. 

Scott Langdon [00:27:44] Hmm. Abigail, what would you think about that? 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:27:48] No, I never think about partners. Before we like, Jerry and I haven't read all this compatibility stuff, because that's in your league, incompatibility sounds more interesting to me. You know, compatibility- how am I going to be a New York Jewish, girl from all these of 40 generations, a rabbi, how am I going to click with a guy who comes from Texas and Southern Baptist and Part Comanche? Well, as it happened, this fits like a glove, but. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:28:32] Fits like a glove. 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:28:34] I don't think if our marriage broker I would have thunk of it for a minute. Partner? Yeah, well, apart from, you know, Jerry, if I wanted to write God a letter and put in, I'd like a human being of the male sex who can contribute the following features to a working partnership? I wouldn't have even thought of more than maybe a quarter of the features that Jerry contributes. In addition to the fact that we kind of work for the house or whatever we have to do reasonably harmoniously. We're not trying to, you know, stick a foot out and tip the other one, as he or she goes tumble, you know, we're trying to make life livable and so forth. The numbers of ways, you know, it's intellectual, spiritual trouble. When I've had trouble with some of the features of Jerry's God book, he's uniquely fitted to be the spokesman. And to hear that out. When I have trouble with being Jewish, I could talk to him. Maybe he's not in danger from he's not Jewish, so he can have a little detachment. But that's not the explanation why non-Jewish friends don't want to hear about this any more than my Jewish friends do. I feel the burden of the covenant, and because I'm not so observant, I'm Jewish in the head and the heart. And so, I get it straight, unmediated by all the ways Jews comfort and console themselves. I don't have those ways. I just get it neat, as they say about drinking from the whiskey, you know, right straight comes at me, and so half my life I'm in shock, and Jerry can somehow stand to hear all that. Tiny things, you know, even your women friends who are supposed to be good at this, we have a cutoff point. Jerry has no cut off points, but they're not about facing me. You know, he not only loves me, he can stand me. 

Scott Langdon [00:31:21] Hmm. Hmm, hmm hmm. 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:31:24] And that's better. 

Scott Langdon [00:31:28] Yeah. Yeah. What brings you the most joy when you think of your spouse? Jerry, what do you think? 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:31:36] Well, what immediately comes to my mind is often in the morning, as I first wake up or start waking up and I look over and just see her lying there, and my heart is filled, filled with joy. It's just kind of as if life is good, life is good. And it's because she's in my life. And early on, when I first fell in love and knew that she was in love with me as well, that her love was a complete circle, I remember feeling, we talked about this recently, sweetheart, I remember feeling- Oh, well, I can die now. It wasn't at all that I wanted to die. You know, I had more to live for than ever. But it's that, you know, you Scott earlier talked about this kind of longing, you know, for there's something missing in her life, something missing. There was nothing missing anymore. The circle had been completed. And so, you know, what is life about? I mean, one life project is to find that kind of love, and here it had fallen into my life. 

Scott Langdon [00:32:50] When I think about relationships, love relationships specifically, and I think about my relationship with my wife, Sarah, who we're going to be interviewing on an upcoming episode. She, listeners will remember, did the voice of Mary and the female voice of God in an episode. So, we're going to talk a bit, but one of the things about our relationship that I noticed is that I am, the way I see things now, I don't know if it was a result of working on the book or if this happened simultaneously to working on the book. I don't know. But during the course of working on this book and this project, the podcast with you, the way I see my happiness has shifted. And what I've come to, the way I've come to see the world, is that I am happy in myself. I don't need my wife or anyone else in order to be happy. And as a result of that, I feel this ease with which I am happy with her. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:34:05] Yes. 

Scott Langdon [00:34:05] I can enjoy the happiness being with her without having to overlay it with expectations. And I realize that the same feeling that I have of love now, I've had that before I was married 23 years prior, and I knew I had that same feeling. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:34:24] Yes. 

Scott Langdon [00:34:25] For some reason, having come from a place of lack and thinking, yeah, this, I know I have it, and yet why do I still feel like there's something else? The shift is I don't need anything else, it's already within. And so now, now I can, and so now every day when I look at-- because I looked at the pillow with my first wife and thought, I, boy, I really love her. I'm really glad we're married. I had those feelings. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:34:51] Yeah. 

Scott Langdon [00:34:51] I have the same feeling now with Sarah. I see her the same feeling you're talking about when you talk about it. Oh, yes, I got that. But the shift is, I'm just in it. I don't have-- there's no expectation about it. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:35:07] Right. 

Scott Langdon [00:35:08] On her part or my part. That I'm failing in this or I need to do more. It's just a peace and an ease. Abigail, do you relate to that at all? 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:35:19] Oh, yes, very much. I can't think of a particular photograph of a moment of that kind, such moments occur, but I can't think of one that sort of stands in for the others. But it would occur to me to respond to-- as a response to your question is- modern, intellectual, highly trained people have a burden of cynicism, of doubt, of not believing what they believe or not thinking what they think, of not feeling what they feel. You know, everything is sort of up for grabs by a disbelieving world. And when I sort of pause, sort of shut out the noise as it were, and unplug from that and see how it is with me. There is a far more comprehensive and enveloping and deep going, sort of profound, I would say, since not only that, I am in love and love, but that I can trust that. 

Scott Langdon [00:36:46] Mm hmm. Yeah. 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:36:49] The disbelief. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:36:50] But it became clear that to carry this project forward, which I was resistant about for a time, I was going to step away from a good income, step away from Washington connections that I'd spent years developing with respect of a community that's a bit hard to break in to, and in fact, I thought I was going to lose all my friends. They'd say to each other, "Did you hear what happened to Jerry? You know, he thinks God talks to him." And but I always, I could go forward because I thought God gave me the reward in advance. So, Abigail is worth more than any possible challenge, burden God might place on me, and so I've got my reward already and let's go forward. 

Scott Langdon [00:37:43] Absolutely. Yes, of course. That's wonderful. You know, when you asked me the first question in the interview you did with me, you asked me, why did I answer the ad in Craigslist to begin with? 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:37:54] Yes. 

Scott Langdon [00:37:56] And we talked about, you know, I had a year and a half worth of work lined up only to be canceled by the pandemic. But I answered that question by saying the real pull, because I didn't know it was about the God Book yet in the ad, until we met. But my initial pull was two retired philosophy professors and that I could, we could have conversations and we could talk. That's what I initially wanted to have. Now, here it is a year and a half later, and now we have all this time to get something to talk about. And now here I am, present to the reason I answered the Craigslist, which is being in company with you too. So I'm really honored that you've taken the time to be with me today, and it's been my honor to be on this project. And I just thank you for the opportunity and the community and the love. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:38:51] Well, thank you. You've done wonderful work on it and it's a divine blessing itself. 

Abigail Rosenthal [00:38:56] Yes, great questions, Scott. It's a joy to try to answer them. 

Scott Langdon [00:39:11] 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.