“What does God need with a starship?” — James T. Kirk
When dealing with life’s imponderables, it’s always best to turn to the Shat.
In today’s case, to the screenplay William Shatner wrote for “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier,” universally regarded as the worst of the movies based on the original “Star Trek” series. In the movie, an intergalactic entity proclaims itself to be the Almighty … but needs the U.S.S. Enterprise to do his bidding.
Which leads to Kirk’s question, for which the Starfleet captain is hit by a lightning bolt … and survives, of course — since William Shatner could hardly be expected to perish from a lightning bolt from God.
This all came to mind the other day when news broke — not from a sermon from the Mount, but by press release – that God apparently has found a new vessel for spreading his word. Simon & Schuster has struck a deal to publish an as-yet untitled memoir.
I know what you’re thinking … didn’t God already do this?
I know what you’re also thinking … who do you strike a deal with to get the rights to God’s autobiography. The publishing company had the answer in its press release:
“God is represented by a burning bush, the Greek letters a and ‡, and, in this case, the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency, the same agency that represents David Javerbaum.”
Javerbaum is the head writer of The Daily Show, which probably tells you more than you need to know about God’s memoir. Meanwhile, the publishers aren’t worried about the Almighty meeting a deadline:
“We think He can produce the manuscript quickly … More than seven days, but less than a year.”
Not to be outdone, an already released book found its way to the newsroom this week. “Conversations With Jesus: An Intimate Journey,” an account by author Alexis Eldridge of how the son of God made himself known to her over the years and, ultimately, to sitdown talks that Eldridge recorded in the pages of a spiral notebook (not, unfortunately, with a video camera).
In her introduction, Eldridge asks, “How does a Jewish woman from Brooklyn become best friends with Jesus?” This seems a pertinent question for the purpose of the book, although the concept of being the “best” friend of Jesus appears a tad presumptuous.
For example, why is Eldridge a better friend tha Calvin Miller, who also wrote a book called “Conversations With Jesus” in 2006? Or Simon Parke, who wrote … excuse me, co-wrote … “Conversations With Jesus Of Nazareth” earlier this year?
Now, we here in Southern Oregon are familiar with the concept of having the lord communicate through the pages of books. So the first person I thought of was Neale Donald Walsch, he of the best-selling “Conversations With God.”
Walsch himself is quoted on the jacket of Eldridge’s book:
“Just as God can speak to everyone, why not Jesus as well? You will be fascinated by what he says!”
Walsch is right. It’s fascinating to discover why – in this age of talk radio, Twitter and 24-hour cable news networks — God’s memoir and Jesus’s conversation are captured in the rather quaint (not to mention SLOW) medium of tell-all books.
For an answer to that imponderable, I went straight to the source … or, at least, close enough … the Introduction to “Conversations With Jesus” that Jesus himself wrote:
“My intention for everyone who travels the pages of this book is for them to find their way from underneath the layers of falseness that make up much of modern society …”
What does God need with a starship, indeed?