So many people believe so many different things ... . (Comment here at youtube.)
A Secret of the Universe is Stephen L. Gibson's "skeptical" novel about beliefs, the fallibility of human reasoning, and our propensity to segregate and clash over dogmatic convictions that are held above critical examination. It is the story of two high-school pals from the Midwest for whom a personal tragedy sets in motion a journey of inquiry that spans a lifetime of cruel and glorious twists, and culminates in an astonishing discovery. Ian wants answers his faith can’t provide, so he abandons traditional religion and its magic, mysticism, and supernaturalism, turning instead to science, reason, and skepticism. Bill’s path has become that of a devoted Christian who sees the bountiful harvest that can be achieved through spirituality and faith. When profound revelations lead each friend to uncover shocking historical “secrets” in support of his own worldview, their odyssey plays out on a global stage, with tragic consequences. Only by embracing the inherent mystery and pain of their quest do Ian and Bill make the discovery that really matters—a genuine secret of our human universe.
Though fiction, A Secret of the Universe is a timely, intelligible synthesis of religious scholarship and discourse—meticulously researched and footnoted—wrapped in a poignant story about God, terrorism, culture wars, and the origins of our beliefs.A Secret of the Universe is essentially two books, synthesized into one story. One book has a non-fiction feel, and is comprised mostly of concepts and ideas about early Christian history, belief, and epistemology—the fascinating study of the origins of knowledge. The other book is a coming-of-age story about love and loss, tragedy and triumph. This human drama encompasses much of the first half of the book, and is illustrative of the fertile soil in which belief takes root—and it is vital to seeing the potential for unenlightened belief to divide humanity rather than unite it. Together, the books form a tiny microcosm of the human struggle to understand the great mysteries of our existence, and the divisions and consequences that often result from the solutions we formulate.