Turtles All The Way Down, by Gordon Atkinson


Turtles All The Way Down, by Gordon Atkinson is the book I got when I sent out to get the book, Turtles All The Way Down a Novel by John Green.

After reading much of the book I found on the very first page some recommendations for the book. Gordon’s mother said, “A literary masterpiece. Truly a hallmark of American literature, and he’s such a nice boy.” Mom’s are great. Nathan Pruett said, “Its almost like a real book.”

I don’t find myself leaning towards either of these reviews.

Gordon Atkinson is the pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in San Antonio and a blogger known as Real Live Preacher. He explains in the book that “Back of everything is some kind of faith. No matter where you look, whether in science, philosophy, religion, or real estate, if you dig deep enough, you will always find turtles, all the way down.”


The phrase “turtles all the way down” is an expression of infinite regress which means that a truth is dependent on another truth and that truth likewise is dependent on a 3rd truth. This has been historically illustrated by three turtles of varying sizes stacked on top of each other with the largest on the bottom, or all the way down.

Expecting a book by a preacher to be about beliefs, Atkinson seems to miss the mark. He said “faith is about humility, acceptance and being at home in your skin and in your place in the scheme of things. It is not our burden to know absolute truth, which is further good news since we are not able to know it.” He tells us of the many things that we will never know exactly, and it really does seem that this is a man who is comfortable, not only in his own skin, but in a rambling writing style that we are expected to appreciate.

Atkinson says that he has written over a million words, having been a blogger for many years. The book is 50++ short blog entries presented as chapters.  Sometimes what seems to be inconsistent dialog can be explained by knowing the personality and subtle inferences of the writer. That wasn’t the case with this book.