July 18, 2011

Reternity by Neal Wooten

I've been worried about myself lately, worried I may have lost my capacity for wonder. I rarely watch movies anymore because they all seem so desperate to shock, surprise, and enthrall that they've essentially reached the limits for such things and are becoming repetitive. Books aren't as bad because I don't read thrillers, but I'm willing to bet Clive Cussler and his ilk are running out of ways to imperil Earth. But this book has either proven I can still be amazed, or it's added another layer to my cognitive callous. Either way, I am, at the moment, thoroughly amazed.

Reternity is the story of a young man named Max who has lived a very sheltered life as a pastor's son in a small Mayberry-esque town. As he graduates from high school and begins studying at a nearby university, his parents fear that his newfound interest in physics will test his faith. Their fears are calmed somewhat when they learn that his professor hosts weekly Bible studies, but their worries mount as his involvement in a science project quickly evolves into an obsession. On Max's part, he struggles with the idea that his discoveries could cause harm that would far outweigh any recognition he'd receive for it. His investigations take him, his professor, and the reader on an incredible journey that will bend the mind and enliven the senses.

I have only two complaints about this book. First, the writing in the first few chapters is very shaky. It's supposed to be set currently, but the beginning reads more like something from the 50's. In fact a lot of the language and portrayal of female characters reminded me of my mom and her ways of speaking. Second, the female characters -with a single exception- are two-dimensional. The reader gets the impression that Wooten must either fear women or acknowledge his ignorance of them, as he seems to tiptoe around their characterization. For these reasons, especially the writing in the beginning, I can't in good conscience award a full five stars.

However, this is truly an incredible book. It's uncommon to find others that share the belief that Science and God are compatible, and that's not the only difficult topic covered in this book (that particular issue is mainly tackled in the Forward). The Bible studies described shed light on things I hadn't realized had left me in the dark previously. Some of it may be upsetting to some readers, but I hope most will be open to discovering the truth for themselves.


  1. I'm trying to be something I call a "tolerant atheist" and I'm glad for every piece of art that supports this attitude.

  2. Ondrej, I agree, there is far too much out there that supports stereotypes, leading to division. There's a pretty wide range to every school of thought. The only thing I can pick on you for is being a Nicholas Sparks fan. :P


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