The first book review is in for “And God Laughed”

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And God Laughed
Roy A. Teel, Jr.

And God Laughed is a novel by Dr. Roy A. Teel Jr. that centers on one man’s on-going conversations with God. These sessions, which span several years, reveal an unconventional God who challenges every idea humans have about a higher power. Teel is an ordained minister and author of non-fiction books about Christianity, including The Way, the Truth and the Lies (2006), which makes the discussions about religion, premarital sex, abortion and death in this fictional piece even more interesting. The God presented in this book is not the familiar one of traditional religion, but the underlying theme of unconditional love appears truer and more accessible from the God of Teel’s imagination.

While at a library book sale, Justin discovers a book entitled, Does God Exist? The young man, who was raised as a Christian, does not purchase the book, but the question sticks with him. After discussing the topic with his fiancée, Alex, a psychiatrist who does not believe in God, Justin embarks on a journey to prove the existence of God for himself. His technique is simple: Justin finds a quiet place to pray then calls on God. And He answers. From the beginning of their conversations, God’s personality is bold and authentic: He is opinionated and even uses profanity often. Their initial conversations focus on the teachings of religion. God immediately denies involvement in that area: “I’m not religious. That’s your deal.” He goes on to tell Justin that man created religion to control humankind. God denies almost all the religious tenets Justin believes, except for one: God declares that he encoded the “golden rule” on the souls of humankind.

Both Justin and God become frustrated as they argue over the issues of the Bible, Jesus, science, and the failure of God to intervene in the lives of humans when they are most in need. In response, God emphasizes that humans have free will, then offers the following advice: “One of the most empowering things that you can do as a human is take responsibility for your life. This means your failures as well as your successes. It’s a sign of true power…”

This is truly a wonderful story. Teel discards the rules and laws of traditional religion that often serve more to separate people from God then to bring them closer to Him. The crux of the book is straightforward and beautiful: God is available to every human being; you simply have to call on Him. Some of the concepts discussed in this story may be difficult for readers to consider…or not. This is the type of book that calls up a reader’s personal history and demands active participation in reviewing the status quo and at least pondering alternatives.

And God Laughed is an enlightening, inspiring and edifying story. I highly recommend it.

 Melissa Brown Levine
for Independent Professional Book Reviewers

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