Looking for Christmas Gifts? Give Something Thought Provoking This Year.

Looking for Christmas Gifts? Give Something Thought Provoking This Year. December 7, 2012

I’d like to suggest something for the hard-to-buy-for people on your Christmas list—something a little more intellectual than a tie or gift certificate. My book, Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey (2011) is available at Amazon, either as a paperback or an ebook.

While many books discuss the Christianity vs. atheism debate, this book takes a fictional approach to tough apologetics arguments. Indeed, the intellectual debate becomes another character within the story.

The book targets two audiences. First, it gives thoughtful Christians something to think about and encourages complacent Christians to critique the foundations of their religion. Many Christian leaders make exactly this point, that they too want to push Christians to think. The book is an intellectual workout—a taxing project, perhaps, but one that leaves the reader a stronger person.

Second, I want to reach atheists who might enjoy approaching these intellectual arguments in fiction rather than in the usual nonfiction form.

The book is set in Los Angeles in 1906, in an odd new church that is suddenly world famous. The pastor’s prediction of imminent disaster had been front-page news the day before the great San Francisco earthquake—true story. Here’s the back-cover summary:

In 1906, three men share a destiny forged by a prophecy of destruction. That prophecy comes true with staggering force with the San Francisco earthquake and fire, and young assistant pastor Paul Winston is cast into spiritual darkness when his fiancée is among the dead. Soon Paul finds himself torn between two powerful mentors: the charismatic pastor who rescued him from the street and an eccentric atheist who gradually undercuts Christianity’s intellectual foundation.

As he grapples with the shock to love and faith, Paul’s past haunts him. He struggles to retain his faith, the redemptive lifesaver that keeps him afloat in a sea of guilt.  But the belief that once saved him now threatens to destroy the man he is becoming.

Paul discovers that redemption comes in many forms. A miracle of life. A fall from grace. A friend resurrected. A secret discovered. And maybe, a new path taken. He realizes that religion is too important to let someone else decide it for him. The choice in the end is his—will it be one he can live with?

Cross Examined challenges the popular intellectual arguments for Christianity and invites the reader to shore them up … or discard them. Take the journey and see where it leads you.

Buy copies for those hard-to-buy-for friends who would enjoy a little different approach to the Christian/atheist debate. It’s guaranteed to be far more intellectually stimulating than a tie or gift certificate (and less cliché than frankincense or myrrh).

Bob Seidensticker

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