Well hello, Patheos.
It’s nice to meet you.
In the words of the great poet Jay-Z, allow me to re-introduce myself.
My name is Zack. I’m a Capricorn. I rant about Trump and rave about Jesus on the internet. I’m currently munching (is that the right word?) on a 3lb bag of gummy bears. And I wrote a book.
Well, technically I’m writing a book.
But it has a title!
If you’ve been following me for a while, you already knew all of that. But since this is my first post over here on my shiny new Patheos blog I thought I would take a moment to say hello first before the big title reveal.
So, hello again! Thanks for having me.
Now that introductions are out of the way I can do a little shameless self-promotion and tell you about the book I’m working on.
It’s due out next Spring and it’s about the rapture.
And how the rapture and everything that comes with it shaped my faith…until it didn’t and was replaced with something more…grounded.
The book is called Unraptured: How End Times Theology Gets It Wrong
Why Unraptured? Let me explain….
As a teenager growing up in the buckle of the Bible Belt, I was obsessed with the end times. Jack Van Impe Prophecy Bible in hand, I was convinced the rapture would happen at any moment. So, I had to be prepared at all times. That meant never missing church, never sinning, and never setting my car radio presets to anything other than Christian radio.
When the rapture never happened, my tightly wound faith began to fray. When college rolled around and theology classes revealed the rapture was never even biblical to begin with, it was like tugging on a loose thread that eventually completely unraveled my faith, forcing me to ask serious questions about everything I thought I knew about Christianity. After all, if I had been wrong about the rapture, what else had I been wrong about?
Growing up in conservative evangelicalism and one day leaving the bubble only to have your faith rocked has become cliché these days. An entire generation is emptying the pews in droves, jaded by a Church more concerned with fighting culture wars than caring for the least of these. They leave in search of something better, something spiritual perhaps, but not necessarily religious. I would likely still be spiritually adrift with many of my fellow Millennials had it not been for the divine intervention of stinky cheese, a trip to the beach, and an old man with a spitting problem that together gave being “left behind” a whole new meaning and me a renewed sense of purpose in life as I rediscovered a faith worth believing in.Part memoir, part tour of the apocalypse, and part call to action, the book will trace my spiritual journey, using it as a framework to explore how the Church’s focus on escaping to heaven instead of bringing heaven to earth has it mired in decay and teetering on the brink of irrelevancy in a world rocked by refugee crises, climate change, war and rumors of war. Rather than incite panic, I’ll look at how these signs of the times can help the Church reorient her understanding of the gospel around loving and caring for the least of these and away from a half-empty version of the gospel that treats salvation as little more than a get out of hell free card. If all goes to plan, the book will lay out a path towards resurrecting Christianity from irrelevance and decay by taking the concept of being “left behind” and flipping it upside down, transforming it from a source of fear to a hopeful, world changing calling.
But before all of that comes to fruition, however, I need your help.
My wonderful publisher, Herald Press, has come up with three different cover options and we want your help deciding which one should be the final cover.
Here they are….
Personally, I’m a big fan of the top one. It’s got a clean, old-timey sort of feel that I really like.
I like the bottom one too. I think it really pops.
But, that’s just like, my opinion, man.
You’re the one buying the book (please), not me. Which is why I wanna know what you think.
So, if you’ll do me a HUGE FAVOR and hop over to Herald’s Twitter page (CLICK HERE) or their Facebook page (CLICK HERE) and let them know in the comments section which cover you like best, I would be eternally grateful and will share some of the ginormous 3lb bag of gummy bears I’m currently munching on with you the next time we meet. And if they’re gone by then, I promise to give you a spectacular high five instead.
If for some reason you don’t have a Twitter or Facebook page because you understandably don’t want Mark Zuckerberg selling your personal information to the Russians, just let me know what you think of the covers in the comments section here and I’ll make sure to pass it on to the good folks over at Herald.