There are those among us who think that life is governed by moral and/or religious absolutes – that people, situations and circumstances are either good or evil, “black or white.” The reality is that we all inhabit a universe composed of a spectrum of grey areas and we do the best that we can to determine our own versions of right and wrong.
Author Scott Pinsker brilliantly explores the multitudes of grey areas surrounding religion, morality and the concept of good and evil in his vibrant and thought-provoking novel, The Second Coming – A Love Story.
Pinsker masterfully weaves a tale of two very different individuals who both claim that they are Jesus Christ, here to save humanity. While espousing diametrically opposing viewpoints, each of the “Messiahs”, Joe and Israel, immediately recruits a motley team of followers to implement a public relations campaign aimed at soul-gathering.
I found the resemblance of the public relations campaigns to today’s political circus particularly entertaining, and felt that the author brought biblical perspectives to bear on contemporary societal ills in a rather tongue-in-cheek way that was by turns terrifying and alluring. Moral points were made without judgment, and the rich backdrop of spiritual forces warring in the Heavens (in a parallel universe), provided a metaphorical illustration to the author’s point. The tapestry of images, both beautiful and horrifying that Pinsker skillfully wove with unabashed abandon, underscored the epic implications of earthly endeavors.
The exploration of the human condition, rejection of judgment and prejudice, alongside unconditional acceptance was a theme throughout which, at the very least should cause a moment of introspection in the reader, regarding our treatment of our fellow human beings, and could quite literally be taken to heart to such a degree as to foment a “new religion” among those of us who are appalled at man’s inhumanity to man.
The pace of the action kept me enthralled, the intellectual/spiritual depth of it made me think (and continues to do so), and the tone and human elements kept me entertained at a level that caused me to read even while at the gym, because I couldn’t bear to put it down. If you read nothing else this year, read this book, and send it to all of your friends – it’s too good to be missed!