Exerpt from Chapter 20
God's mind searched frantically for a way out of this awfulness. Should he stop talking? No impossible, he was in too deep now; he had
to continue. "I can still
win this bet," he told himself; it's not too late, I'm God, I can do anything! I will pull myself out of this by...hmmm...yes! Continuing to talk about Leviathan!
"Who can remove his clothes?" God howled. "Who can pry the folds of his jowls apart? Who can open the doors in his face?" (Job 41: 5-6)
The five men stared upward, clearly befuddled. Those were odd questions, God knew that. The point he was trying to make was, "I can handle Levianthan, can you
?" But the "doors-in-his-face" thing sounded bizarre. Also, Leviathan didn't wear clothes
, obviously; he was a whale-dragon!! "I must scare
the humans," God thought. "I can still do that and I will!" "Levianthan can breathe fire!" (Job 41:13) "He sneezes lightning!" (Job 41:10) "He has a big neck!: (Job 41:14) God stopped, suddenly exhausted. The men were staring at the ground now, clearly embarrassed. God noticed a group of angels nearby looking at him worriedly. Something caught his eye behind them - a flash of black. Fifty feet away, near a tree, Satan looked at him. He didn't smile; he didn't do anything. He just looked at God - who knew, at that moment, that something important had changed between them. "We weren't testing Job," suddenly crossed his mind. "We were testing me."
From the writer of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
and Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey
comes The Story of God
, mock autobiography of the Judeo-Christian God, that explores the idea that He may be a mystery even to Himself. It's irreverent and blackly funny and draws attention to some of the most bizarre and disturbing passages in the Bible, such as the Philistines trying to appease God's chosen people with a gift of golden hemorrhoids, and the eyeball monsters of the book of Revelations. Matheson frequently provides references to the chapter and verse he is referring to, making it possible to look up the verses as you read along and confirm that yes, the Bible it really does say all those strange and abhorrent things.
This book came to my attention when the author was interviewed on the The Scathing Atheist
podcast, which is pretty similar in tone. It's not a book for believers unless they have a pretty thick skin. However it will probably appeal most to people who have slogged their way through the entire Bible and are seeking reassurance that it's not just them, some of that stuff really is weird. The Story of God
is not a book of reasoned arguments against the Bible, Christianity or religion in general. What it is is a good laugh, and it is compelling in its absurdity.