The Disappearance of God by Richard Elliot Friedman
The Disappearance of God details the gradual receding of the divine presence in the Biblical writings—from the unquestioned companion and teacher of the Patriarchs, to the distant but still-present redeemer in Exodus, to the absent deity of Esther. Each diminishment of the perceived Divine presence is another stage of human development. But how is it, asks Friedman, that the numerous biblical authors, in the complete absence of any coordination between them, managed to tell the same story of gradual Divine withdrawal from human history?
The answer, he posits, is that the Bible itself is a reflection of a universal story of human development, of the withdrawal from the Sacred–and frightening–origin of being into a realm that is safer, more human, and more understandable, but which draws its meaning from its Divine origin. We remember the closeness to the Holy. It’s encoded in our very being. But we have had to leave it behind and embark on our own journey in order to be truly human.