Every day I hear or read hundreds of thousands of words, maybe even approaching the millions. It is really easy to get lost in the noise of all of the words. The beauty of phrases gets drowned out by thousands of tweets, comments, articles, questions and shouts.
Sometimes, though, the profound words sneak through and get themselves noticed. The rest of the noise is quieted by the beauty and power of someone else’s stories.
This is what happened for me while reading Jonathan Martin’s new book Prototype. On the surface it is a book about religion, but really Martin is exploring humanity. You know, us. Our human existence. The good, the true and the beautiful.
What makes Martin’s story profound is the raw reality of the people in it. He opens himself up to us through his own humanity. He weeps, he mourns, he is scarred. So are the other people in his life, just like all of us. And this fits with the fundamental thesis of his book, that Jesus, as the divine become human, is the prototype for our own humanity.
It’s really a beautiful book, one that stirred my heart, mind and soul. And it doesn’t work for everyone. One Goodreads reviewer lamented that it wasn’t as theological as he wanted it to be, which is entirely true. It’s not a particularly academic book. It can be read in an evening, and that shouldn’t be held against it. Some of the best conversations I have ever had, the ones that left an impression on me for many years, were the ones that were, in a sense, the most fleeting.
Martin’s stories, part biography, part pastoral, might not take you a month to read, but they’ll stir the creative, emotional being within you. Or at least it did for me.
Here’s hoping that you’ll take the time to read this story and be moved.