CP asked Klavan how important he thinks experiencing God is in light of how contemporary culture values thinking over feeling, particularly the reasoning that what we think is objectively true and the things we experience are subjective and therefore invalid.
Among other things, Klavan noted, the subjective experience of falling in love with his wife over the course of many decades was an epiphany of sorts; love showed him that if just because something might be subjective it does not mean it is not real.
"That led me to start to think 'Now, wait a minute, maybe if you can be deceived in your subjective perceptions, then maybe you can be right in your subjective perceptions," Klavan said.
Along the way, Klavan's rejection of atheism was in part because he found important truths in places many devout Christians rarely look. Klavan told The Christian Post that one of the most important engagements he had with a work of art was with French author and philosopher Marquis de Sade.
"De Sade wrote some of the most sadistic pornography — some of the most disgusting stuff I ever read — and his books are laced with atheistic philosophy. And when I read that atheist philosophy and I saw that pornography that accompanied it, I said to myself, 'That is honest atheism. That is only true, truly reasoned atheism I ever saw, that if you wanted to be an atheist, this was the logic of it and it turned me away.' I turned my back and walked away from it."
"So here's this ugly guy but writing brilliant art, brilliant psychopathic art, that contained a truth that I needed to find," he continued.
CP asked Klavan what Christians might do to be more thoughtful as they engage the intellectuals and the broader culture.
"The one thing I would love to see Christians do, is to stop leaping to condemn art that doesn't immediately echo their deeply held beliefs. Because I truly believe that all great art is speaking truth. God is god of the real world, he's not God of fantasy land. When you shut people off from the ugliness of life, from the physicality of life and the passion and the lust that are in the Bible and in the arts, you shut people off from the real God," he said.
"I think that the arts are one of the ways that human beings relate their inner experience to one another. And I think in that inner experience is where we are going to find our faith and find our God. So learn how to read the arts, learn how to read something that repels you, it actually may have a truth inside that people need to know."
When asked what he would most like readers to take away from his memoir, Klavan reiterated the importance to examining the evidence for faith for oneself, against the fierce cultural tide of unbelief.
"You have to step out of that current, as hard as it is, and see the world fresh and start to find the truth from there," Klavan said. "Because as the X-files always told us, the truth is out there. And it really is staring you in the face, and it really is speaking to you, singing to you, virtually, from every corner of the world."...
Edgar Award-winner and New York Times bestselling novelist tells of his improbable conversion from agnostic Jewish-intellectual to baptized Christian and of the books that led him there.
“Had I stumbled on the hallelujah truth, or just gone mad—or, that is, had I gone mad again?”
No one was more surprised than Andrew Klavan when, at the age of fifty, he found himself about to be baptized. Best known for his hard-boiled, white-knuckle thrillers and for the movies made from them—among them True Crime (directed by Clint Eastwood) and Don’t Say a Word (starring Michael Douglas)—Klavan was born in a suburban Jewish enclave outside New York City. He left the faith of his childhood behind to live most of his life as an agnostic in the secular, sophisticated atmosphere of New York, London, and Los Angeles. But his lifelong quest for truth—in his life and in his work—was leading him to a place he never expected.
In The Great Good Thing, Klavan tells how his troubled childhood caused him to live inside the stories in his head and grow up to become an alienated young writer whose disconnection and rage devolved into depression and suicidal breakdown. But he also stumbled into a genuine romance, a passionate and committed marriage whose uncommon and enduring devotion convinced him of the reality of love.
In those years, Klavan fought to ignore the insistent call of God, a call glimpsed in a childhood Christmas at the home of a beloved babysitter, in a transcendent moment at his daughter’s birth, and in a snippet of a baseball game broadcast that moved him from the brink of suicide. But more than anything, the call of God existed in stories—the stories Klavan loved to read and the stories he loved to write.
The Great Good Thing is the dramatic, soul-searching story of a man born into an age of disbelief who had to abandon everything he thought he knew in order to find his way to the truth.