3 Theories of Everything by Ellis Potter (Destinée Media, 2012)
It’s a good thing this little book is only 111 pages long, and easy to read to boot, because with our whirlwind sightseeing schedule—or what passes for whirlwind when 1.5- and three-year-old tornados are involved—there hasn’t been much time for reading.
The author is a former pastor of my son-in-law’s church, and that’s all I know about him because there’s no author blurb and I’m writing this “blind”: we’ve had no Internet for two days. And when it comes back I’ll be too busy/lazy to change the above. [Correction: I did find this short bio of Ellis Potter that covers a good deal.]
As I said, it’s a quick read, but well worth the attention. Potter’s search for absolute reality took him all over the map, so to speak, two of the notable stops being as a Buddhist monk and as a Christian pastor. 3 Theories of Everything is a brief and admittedly greatly simplified look at Monism, Dualism, and Trinitarianism, its strongest point being the obvious respect Potter has for all three, despite having decided that Trinitarianism comes closest to describing the true nature of the universe.
I’ve had my fill of arguments that think to prove their premises by sketching a false picture of their opponent’s position and mocking it into oblivion. What kept me reading this book, which had the potential to be just that, is that it isn’t. Potter is not one of those preachers who sees nothing but irrationality and evil in other religious beliefs and practices, even though he feels strongly about the truth of his own.
Besides that, my favorite part of 3 Theories of Everything is the discussion of relationship as the heart of Trinitarianism: God alone is God, and God is not alone. Unity and diversity, relationship, love, service, obedience, and sacrifice existed in God Himself before the creation of the world, and thus are fundamental to the very nature of the universe. Adam needed his relationship with similar-but-different Eve to be fully human. We are not ourselves in ourselves, but in relationship with others.
Potter is annoying sometimes, a little too Baptist in some places and a little too patriarchal in others, but his humility makes this easy to forgive.