36 Arguments for the Existence of God

I just finished Rebecca Goldsten’s latest work, and I can’t wipe this silly grin off my face. This is the kind of book that makes my toes curl with delight: witty, arch, thought-provoking, funny, familiar, relevant, and deeply satisfying.
As in her previous novels, such as The Mind-Body Problem, Goldstein uses the stereotypical figures of academia to explore philosophical questions. A young professor escapes from the mad world of a Harold Bloom-like figure and writes a response to William James and Sigmund Freud entitled “The Varieties of Religious Illusion” (get it?). It includes an appendix listing 36 arguments for the existence of God, together with a crisp rebuttal to each. In this era of the “New Atheists”, this ensures that the book becomes a best-seller, catapulting the bewildered professor into the heights of academe, and culminating in a ferocious debate with a theist that includes all of the arguments that this reader would hope to make in a similar situation! And this narrative, with many fascinating twists and turns, is wrapped up in a novel complete with an appendix(!) on 36 Arguments for the Existence of God. With the addition of the subtitle, “A Work of Fiction”, this becomes the delightfully misleading title for the book as a whole.
Is it wrong of me to hope that some theist will read the title, assume that it’s a response to Dawkins, Dennett et al, buy it sight unseen, and be confused, angry, and – possibly – enlightened?