“In these writings, I have conveyed many ideas that fly in the face of convention and are downright contrary to an orthodox understanding of Christian theology -- perhaps even, of the cosmos. I have referred to it as my ‘schema’ and have sought to elucidate a hypothetical framing of Ultimate Reality that would be equally relevant in a universe void of earthly human beings as it is in the one in which we happen to very recently find ourselves. One in which we are now here, basically renting the place.”

D.W. Cymbalisty has been studying and developing alternative approaches to Christian orthodoxy for decades. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology [Hons.] from Masters College & Seminary, and lives in beautiful Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, with his cat, Kenny. This is his first novel.

A perfectly valid follow-up question (asked, perhaps, by Oprah Winfrey after she discovers my book) would be – “Why would anyone want to spend time and energy ‘developing alternative approaches to Christian orthodoxy for decades?’”

My answer would be, “Fundamentalism.”
It is really fundamentalism that rankles me most when it comes to religious ideology, and I am not alone in this – many believers and non-believers alike, feel the same way. I have the somewhat unique position of formerly having been a Christian fundamentalist. As Dub Marlden might put it, at a certain point in my life it was “reason” that “fished me out of the soup of unsubstantiated belief.” Similar to his experience, this transformation in my thinking occurred roughly during the time-frame of the dawn of the new millennium and was exacerbated by the tragic religiously-motivated events of 9/11 in 2001.

As a myriad of famous authors have advised us amateurs, “Write what you know!”

I do not stand in opposition to religion, per se – nor to those who subscribe to their own specific brand of it. Neither am I an atheist, per se. But, consider the following: When a stranger asks if you “believe in God” your first response ought to be “What do you mean when you use the word God?” Because, even if you are a firm believer, your immediate affirmative answer has the potential of being not even remotely close to the perception of divinity in the other person’s mind. So really, you have said nothing specific, or of relative value in that exchange of dialogue. Conversely, if you reply with an equally immediate “No” – well, (and admittedly I am a little bit biased here) – I would think that you have not yet read my book, The Third Question.

You will notice that there is no shopping cart icon to be found on this website – although there is indeed a link to purchase the book elsewhere if you have not already done so. Hey, we all need to keep the cat fed, am I right? The main purpose of my site is not to sell books, but rather to interact with readers of it. So please, take advantage of the other buttons you can click on to comment on your impressions of the book and to voice your opinions. My goal is to personally respond in real-time to all inquiries and criticisms, as well as to gloat and salivate over any praise and merited or even unmerited worship.

All kidding aside, I have been asked many times who it is I consider to be my “target audience.”
From my perspective as the author – I don’t know. That could be a real problem for sales! A true marketing disaster. I am not even sure what “niche” I am in, or “genre,” for that matter. I am left with the vague and probably unprofitable conception that a very diverse, wide range of people could benefit from exploring the ideas found within these pages. But let’s face it – we are a society of precision nowadays, and no one has much time for generalities. For instance, we only want to read certain types of books. But when your overall theme is “Awareness” and “Ultimate Reality” (capitalized, yet!) what the hell “genre” does that fit into? I have no idea. The closest I have come to a disclaimer as to my own confusion along these lines is hopefully evident in the subtitle: A Novel About Everything.

I want everyone to read the book. What author doesn’t? Young, old, believer, non-believer, saint, heretic – come one, come all. It remains to be seen whether I have thrown a dart intending to nail an imaginary bulls-eye, and have instead, hit the surrounding wall.

My writing, in this inaugural book and elsewhere on this website, will be controversial and troubling for some readers. Specifically, I am thinking of those who, as Dub Marlden expresses in Chapter 3, cherish “a concrete idea when they imagine their own highly exclusive deity.” Insofar as some of these may be Christians, I take refuge in citing 1 John 4:8, which states, rather all-encompassingly: “He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.” This means that while you may dislike my ideas, you are yet compelled to at least not hate me. As one who makes every attempt to live in the fullness of Awareness (my synonym for God), the same admonition applies likewise, which is to say, I accept the reciprocation of it, regarding you. We ought to employ this scripture as a recipe for mutual respect and civility.
Ahh, my readers. I’ve just got to love them.
And I do.

Get to Know the Author

"Never assume that you already know everything." — Dub Marlden

When Chris Vallee, a theology student needing extra cash, applies for a part-time typing job, he has no idea what he’s in for. Then again, does anyone who encounters Wallace “Dub” Marlden for the first time?
Chris’s new boss is a retired minister turned “heretic, pagan, heathen, and Druid” (as his wife Bessie is quick to inform us). Because he is also blind, he hires Chris to document his unique theories about “Ultimate Reality.” Early on, it becomes evident that this will not be the equivalent of a fifth Gospel!
Dub poses three simple questions – but his focus on potential responses to the third question launches him on a multi-session, smoke-filled demolition derby -- a virtual ransacking of conventional ideas about God and religion.
The problem is, too much of it seems to make sense! Chris soon discovers that the old man’s speculations are not easy to dismiss. He struggles to reconcile how his faith can fit into the grid of Dub’s overwhelming reliance on the theory of evolution and the concept of a universe ungoverned by the divine. And unbeknownst to Dub, Chris is also doing some writing on his own behind the scenes.
How will Chris, a believer in God and the Bible, react to being exposed to such flagrant heresy?
How will you react, as the reader of their collaborative effort?
The only way to find out is to begin at page one and dig in.
You will find that no matter how one answers the third question, there are profound ramifications to consider.
“What do you say then? Are we ready to begin?”