I am sitting at Starbucks, attracting an array of curious looks as passersby see me reading my advance copy of Michael Savage's latest book: God, Faith, And Reason. If I had to guess, it is likely their astonishment in seeing Savage's picture above the words God and Faith, but who knows?
I have listened to Michael Savage on the radio for years. I honestly don't know how anyone can not like the guy. You may not agree with all of his views or his politics, but he has one very unique trait: honesty (or as he puts it, psychological nudity). As a Christian myself, I was intrigued when, several months ago, I heard Savage go on a rant about God. The rant then morphed into Savage sharing that he was even thinking about writing a book about God. On later shows, he shared with listeners how he knew he would get grief about bringing such a book topic to a publisher. Nevertheless, he is Michael Savage, and has no concerns about getting editorial approval for what is in his latest stream of consciousness.
Savage, raised by an atheist father, lays bare the story of his lifelong spiritual journey and search for God:
"As I take you on this journey with me, I ask you to have patience, for I am neither a prophet nor a holy man. I am just a man who has thought about the questions we will explore together in the pages that follow since the beginning of my consciousness. Why was I put here? Why were you put here? Why are we born if we're born to die? Why must we suffer? Why does God forsake even the good among us? Why do little children suffer so terribly? Why are good men and women slaughtered in war? Why do evil men thrive, unpunished in their lifetimes?"
God, Faith, And Reason, is a collection of 50 short essays with topics ranging from God's forgiveness, to America's obsession with Halloween, to a beautiful and touching story about his love for his disabled brother, Jerome. Savage struggles with the same questions that we all have about God. How can God forgive a murderer? Will good people, or well-meaning followers of faiths other than Christianity go to heaven? How do we know that God exists?
One chapter, in particular, that resonated with me is titled 'An Unlikely Choice.' In my view, Savage exhibits his understanding of a deep biblical truth that escapes so many readers of the Bible: God works in mysterious ways and uses, as Savage puts it, 'Odd people to do his bidding.' Time and again we see God using not just 'odd people,' but individuals who are unbelievably flawed. We can make a list...from David (an adulterer who sent his mistress's husband to the front lines of battle to be killed), to the Apostle Paul (a mass murderer of Christians and yet author of much of the New Testament), to Peter (who denied Christ three times before the crucifixion). My lifelong study of the Bible has left me with only one conclusion to draw about this - God uses imperfect people to teach us that we can all be used by Him. We all have our flaws and shortcomings, and none of this disqualifies us from being called out of the dugout and onto the field by God. So many purists in the Christian community were unhappy with Trump on the Republican ticket, but I think Savage is right when he opines that God saved America at the last minute with President Trump.
It is rare to find a book on God that does not claim to have all the answers. It is interesting to note, however, that many of the most profound interactions Jesus had were with people asking questions. Nicodemus, a pharisee and a member of the Jewish ruling council, presented Jesus with the most meaningful question in the New Testament in third chapter of the Gospel of John:
"Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?' Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, You must be born again.’ "
And then there is perhaps the most famous question in the entire Bible found in the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John:
"Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"
Michael Savage was banned from the United Kingdom in 2009, "considered to be engaging in unacceptable behavior by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence." Now, some may want him banned from Heaven as a result of his new book on God, but I can't help but love his honesty and his willingness to raise so many meaningful questions...questions that we all have, but are afraid to ask out loud.
My advice to Michael Savage: Keep asking questions, keep moving forward on your spiritual journey, God is on His way to meet you. As 'odd' as some may consider you to be, just like Trump...I am convinced that God is strategically using you to fulfill His plans, and will continue to do so.
Helping you make the most of God’s money!