- Paperback: 324 pages
- Publisher: CarpeKairos Publishers (September 16, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615495095
- ISBN-13: 978-0615495095
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,417,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Paperback – September 16, 2011
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Before I get to the real "meat" of my comments, I do have one small complaint. The timeline presented at the beginning of each chapter has several significant discrepancies. Now perhaps this is intentional, to emphasize in a very subtle way the unreliability of Chronos in order to support the main theme of Kairos. But somehow I think it is simply the result of careless proofreading. I would have been happier if, instead of repeating the dates, the headings had simply given day and time. But enough of this.
The main theme of Hartman's story, the idea of God breaking into history at particular points in what are called Kairos moments, is one that has fascinated me ever since I read Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's "The Phenomenon of Man" in the early 1960's. Teilhard called the moments when some incredible breakthrough in the evolution of complexity-consciousness occurred "critical points". He was discussing, of course, the main evolutionary leaps from non-life to life, from animal consciousness to human consciousness, and now, in our own era, from individual consciousness to global consciousness, which he called the Noosphere.
We are all aware that this global consciousness is indeed present with us in an ever-expanding mode. It is this which has produced the sudden awakening of humankind to the extreme abuse being perpetrated by all the power structures of our various cultures (including the world-wide religions) and opened our eyes to a reawakening of the value of Love - ALL LOVE - as the only hope for the survival of our species. Hartman's book could neither have been written nor published a generation ago. And yet here it is, exciting, frightening, beautifully realized, full of much-needed references to scripture texts. Evil will always try to snuff out love, and will always fail, because for every act of cruelty and atrocity, one more gust of courage and love will in fact be released into the Cosmos. The messengers may be martyred, but the Message will continue to bloom.
This novel will be a touchstone to many - of all orientations. Hopefully it will help to liberate those imprisoned by their faith, social mores, prejudice and intolerance. Most of all I pray that this might reach inwardly to free those who have internalized these things and become filled with self-hatred and despair.
When Hartman's protagonist, Dr. Lute Jonson, a world-class archeologist and Dead Sea Scroll scholar, decides to unveil to the world these heretofore hidden proofs (scroll fragments accurately carbon-dated to the early first century), all hell breaks loose. Jonson inadvertently puts himself, his family, and friends in grave danger as powerful fundamentalist religious and secular forces (where else could you find Vatican officials and CIA agents working together?) race to stop him before he reaches a international media outlet. You won't be disappointed with the book's global intrigue that takes you from Jerusalem to northern Alaska, or its heart-stopping twists and turns, or an ending that's anything but predictable.
What's at stake, according to some, is the faith of a billion Christians worldwide. But the message in Hartman's fictional account of what could be, goes beyond what the book's characters think to the heart of Jesus' message: follow the way of love, not historically-bound law, and embrace this love that drives out fear. Moreover, it goes to the heart of how we read the Bible. This engaging book reveals both a Jesus we never knew and one we always did, while reminding us to embrace the marginalized of our day.
Don't let the few places where the protagonist sounds overly religious scare you away (the ongoing internal prayers and scripture citations were a tad overkill for me). You'll get beyond that minor wrinkle and into a fascinating story and premise with realistic Dead Sea Scroll scholarship. I recommend this book!