Holy books are filled with accounts of the Supreme Being communicating directly with the people. It's as if that kind of thing happened frequently back when the books were written, but there hasn't been any communication like that with us in a couple of millennia.
What would happen if one morning, in modern times, religious leaders from nearly every faith on Earth fell into a short trance and delivered the same message to their followers? What if it was all done in the same voice, and none of them remember what they said? Would you assume that it was a miracle? Would you think it was a hoax?
What if the 'divine message' was one that turns everything we know about our faith on its head? If it made you question everything you've been taught?
That's the event that kicks off The Source, a new novel by Jim Winslett. The story follows two newspaper reporters who are assigned to cover the event. Christine, the editor of the paper's religion section, wants to find out how "The Sermon," as people have called it, will change people and their beliefs. Thelo (short for Thelonius), an investigative reporter with a healthy skepticism, wants to find out if the whole thing was staged... and if so, why?
In their quest to discover the truth, they meet people from all walks of life, each of whom is affected by "The Sermon" in a different way. When a mysterious young woman who calls herself The One shows up with a doomsday prophecy, it's difficult to take her seriously -- but she has insights and knowledge that can't be explained away. If her prophecy comes true, it will mean the literal end of humankind.
A Catholic priest with longings to break free of the restrictions of the Church, a charismatic televangelist and his wife with a huge financial empire, a newspaper editor with a secret that will change everything people know about him, a cheeky British reporter from London stuck working at a tabloid, and an elusive hacker who uncovers startling information all figure into the story as the plot barrels through a week that begins with "The Sermon" and ends with a climactic showdown that will literally determine the fate of the world.
The Source is a fast-moving, yet complex and thought-provoking story that will stick with you long past the final chapter. It's a perfect read for book clubs and discussion groups.