Wondering What to Give that Christian or Atheist on Your List?

Wondering What to Give that Christian or Atheist on Your List? December 5, 2015

I’d like to suggest a couple of ideas for the hard-to-buy-for people on your Christmas list—something a little more intellectual than a tie or gift certificate. My books Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey (2011) and A Modern Christmas Carol (2013) are available online as paperbacks or ebooks. Both are novels that wrestle with the God question.

atheist giftsWhile many books discuss the Christianity vs. atheism debate, Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey 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 hope 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 suddenly thrust into the national spotlight. 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. About this book, Robert M. Price said, “A fascinating novel of ideas … puts a whole new light on apologetics.” Paul Gabel, author of Inventing Jesus said, “Cross Examined is a great read on two fronts. You won’t find a better book on Christian apologetics and the rebuttals … and the story is compelling, with a startling climax. Highly recommended.”

Buy copies for those hard-to-buy-for friends ($10.76 paperback or $2.99 ebook) who would enjoy a little different approach to the Christian/atheist debate. It’s guaranteed to be more intellectually stimulating than a necktie (and less cliché than frankincense or myrrh).

Journalists and bloggers: contact me for a review copy.


atheist giftsIn a thought-provoking retelling of the Dickens classic, A Modern Christmas Carol tells the story of a shrewdly successful televangelist who receives unexpected Christmas visitors: first, his long-dead partner, and then three ghostly guides.

Finally able to acknowledge the shallowness of his message and doubts he has long suppressed, he makes amends with far-reaching consequences.

Most readers will enjoy seeing a televangelist get his comeuppance, but this book is more than that. It explores faith and the evidence for Christianity, and it should provoke and intrigue any reader interested in the impact Christianity has on modern society. It will engage thoughtful readers who enjoyed the intellectual workout of books such as C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity or Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion.

It’s a novella like the original, so it’s a quick read, and it’s a good fit with the Christmas season. The book is available on Amazon as a 115-page paperback ($5.39) and ebook ($1.99).

Journalists and bloggers: contact me for a review copy.


“[A] masterful retelling … well done!”
— Tom Flynn, editor of Free Inquiry magazine and author of The Trouble with Christmas

“Clever and brilliantly told, I’ll even admit to tears at the end! A Christmas story I’m happy to share.”
— Gretta Vosper, minister and author of With or Without God

“A clever little book, filled with insights, that takes the conceptual framework of Dickens’s Christmas Carol to new heights of rationality without sacrificing any of its compassion.”
— Paul Gabel, author of Inventing Jesus

It seems like the War on Christmas 
comes earlier every year.
— seen on the internet

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