In Godsmacked, Paul Cicchini tries to be the Christian Douglas Adams. As a big fan of the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy of Five, I really wanted this book to work. Unfortunately, while the plot could have worked, theological problems means that there’s no way I can reccomend this book.
Godsmacked follows Charlie, an all-round nice guy (and good-looking to book), who somehow cannot get a girl. Through an extremely weird event, he ends up on Mount Olympus, where he makes friends with Heracles/Hercules, and goes around visiting the various gods. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “how can a Christian book treat Greek gods as real?”, well, rest assured there’s a somewhat reasonable explanation behind this.
If you’re talking about writing style, you’ll either find the writing style extremely funny, or extremely infuriating. The main impression I got was the the book was trying too hard to imitate Douglas Adams.
And while I’m on the “love it or hate it” part of the book, I should mention that the portrayal of Jesus would fall under this. I understand where the author is trying to come from by portraying Jesus as a cool, funny guy, but there were times where I felt that he crossed the line into irreverency.
Putting those two points aside, the first part of the book was a fun read, but it was the last section, where Charlie has a talk with Jesus. There’s a bunch of problems, but here are the two biggest ones.
1. “Intelligent design? Call it whatever you want. Even if you believe in evolution, God pre-ordained that too.”
This sentence occurs during a discussion of pre-ordination. But as someone who cares deeply about the creation/evolution issue, this casual acceptance of evolution bothers me. To me, if you accept evolution (even theistic evolution), you admit that there was death even before Adam and Eve sinned. If there was death even before sin, then there was no need for Christ to come.
2. “I doubt that you read the Book of Jubilees in the Bible, but it says in there that God ordered the Great Flood to kill the Nephilim. Well, that was the cover story he gave Noah. He ordered the flood, but pulled Atlantis up at the last moment.”
I don’t even want to know why Apocrypha is treated as equal to Scripture. That is one huge problem already, and I haven’t even gotten to the part where this sentence implies that God lies in the Bible and to people. God is perfect and truth, and there is no way he would lie. Even if this was for plot purposes, I consider it unacceptable to portray God in this way.
In conclusion, this book is a “could have”. It could have been truly funny. It could have been a great witness aid (especially in the last section, where the basics of Christianity are covered). But no matter the “could have”s, I can’t recommend this book due to the theological problems I uncovered.
Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.
Published on 25 March, 2013. Last updated on