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Not The Story They Taught Us In Sunday School

Patrick Andersen Author Interview

Acts of the Women follows the women of the New Testament telling their story in the days after Jesus’s resurrection. What was the inspiration for telling this story?

When I published my first book, Second Born, reimagining the life of Jesus as he grew up with his brothers and sisters in a wealthy family in the capital city of Galilee, I realized I had given voice to his forgotten brothers but neglected his sisters and the countless other dynamic women who played crucial roles in the birth of Christianity. So, Acts of the Women starts right where Second Born left off. But this time it is narrated by the women, and it is not the story they taught us in Sunday School.

What drew you to the genera of historical or biblical fiction?

It’s odd, I usually write humor and satire. But I have a strong faith based in Christianity and have studied it for years, including biblical studies courses at Stanford University and other sources scattered around the country. I have always been bothered by some of the central notions held either consciously or unconsciously by so many Christians. For instance, that this exceptional man was not human but a god, THE God, for that matter. Or that he already knew everything that was going to happen, so he didn’t need to have the faith that we are expected to have, because he already knew the end result. Or that we humans are powerless to correct the wrongs we see in the world, that we must ask Jesus to wave his magic wand like Harry Potter to repair the evil around us. I am convinced that Jesus was a man, and that he had the same fears, joys, worries and victories that fill all our lives. I think he found a way to become one with God, and he was showing the rest of us that we can too.

So, this contradiction that faced me every Sunday when I went to church bothered me. What do I do when I get hot and bothered? I’m a writer. So, I started writing about it. Second Born and Acts of the Women are the results so far.

Was there anything that surprised you in your research for this novel?

As much as the male-dominated church has tried to suppress the history of women’s enrichment of the faith, a lot of evidence can still be found right out in the open. For instance, in the gospels you will find Jesus’ brothers identified by name, but his sisters are barely mentioned in passing. But in other places women are mentioned briefly for traveling with Jesus’ group and providing financial support. Well, it would be a scandal in that culture for a woman to travel with a group of men unless she was close kin or married to one of them. Read through the gospels from beginning to end and start identifying some of these women. And examine Acts of the Apostles and all of Paul’s letters. Watch for references to the women. You will find some real gems that you may have missed before.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

In this genre, I will complete the trilogy with a mystery surrounding the First Council of Nicaea, which occurred in 325. The council was called by Emperor Constantine to determine a universal (i.e., catholic in its non-capitalized definition) view of the nature of Christ. People with alternate views to those adopted at the Council were branded as heretics and, in many cases, excommunicated. I will treat the subject with my usual reverence for orthodoxy. That is, there will be little or none in evidence.

But I have an itch to get back to humor, so I am simultaneously working on a modern-day tale of love and romance on the Internet. When will these two books be available? (Glances at wristwatch while stroking his beard.) Hmm, it’s already 10am and I have an appointment at 1:30, so I won’t be able to finish them today. Maybe by November? And then there’s the lengthy publication process. (Comes out of his musings with an upward snap of his head and suddenly widening eyes.) I hope to have them out in 2023. And before you ask, no, I am not accepting pre-orders currently. But thank you for thinking of offering, as I am sure you were about to do.

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“Patrick W. Andersen’s thrilling new novel, Acts of the Women, is a celebration of the women of the New Testament. Beautifully written in a humorous tone, the author seamlessly weaves together vivid prose with intelligent but surprising conclusions based on years of biblical studies. His women are wise, courageous leaders who rule the men as the risen Jesus and his disciples spread out across the world: France, India, and beyond. This excellent novel is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the non-traditional stories around Jesus. It is an ode to women and a spiritual gift that should be savored with an open mind.”— Kristi Saare Duarte, Author, Holy Conspiracy, and The Transmigrant
“A fascinating, refreshing, well-crafted, and unique interpretation (or perhaps a new telling) of those women in the Bible who were not only instrumental in the development of early Christianity, but powerful in their roles of protecting—and influencing—the man known as Jesus. …This compelling tale is a must-read for Biblical scholars, theologians, open-minded and open-hearted Christians, and open-minded, open-hearted non-Christians alike. Acts of the Women is extraordinary. I consider this book a must-read.”— Peggy A. Wheeler, Author, The Raven’s Daughter, and The Desert Raven
“Andersen once again gives a fresh, plausible life to the greatest story ever told, the story of Christ and the young church. Rather than unraveling and spinning the same story, we get a new look at the disciples, the women, who played a large role in the beginning of Christianity, and the faith that sustained them.”— Ellen L. Ekstrom, Author, Tallis’ Third Tune, and Scarborough

Patrick W. Andersen enjoyed an award-winning career as a journalist and editor, earning special recognition from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission for bringing ethnic minority concerns to the attention of the general public. Turning his writing skills to fiction, he published short stories in a number of journals, some of which are collected in his anthology, Moments to Contemplate (In Bite-Sized Servings). His debut novel, Second Born, garnered critical acclaim for its reimagining of the early life of Jesus. He and his wife Marina live in San Francisco, California.

Brutal, Beautiful Neglected Christian Theology – Book Trailer

Featuring three pastoral interviews, “Brutal, Beautiful Neglected Christian Theology” does not shy away from the more brutal truths of the Bible. It is the author’s goal to showcase for her readers both the beauty and brutality of difficult, uncomfortable topics forsaken by most modern churches today. The author steps back in time and passionately brings back to life neglected areas of Christian theology that are dear to her heart, including regeneration, the depravity of man, the fear of God, the person of the Holy Spirit, and God’s divine discipline, just to name a few, while also exploring issues in our modern culture and providing her readers with biblical evidence for the pre-tribulation rapture of the church. We may be living in an ever-changing global world, but isn’t it refreshing to know that these precious, neglected biblical truths are still taught HERE?

The author wishes to inform her readers that a portion of all book proceeds will be going to benefit the Hope For the World Foundation, a missionary organization which has been helping orphan children and the elderly of Albania for over 30 years, and has taken what was once a communist country and transformed it unto the glory of Jesus Christ. The author also wishes to express that no one individual associated with Hope For the World has asked her to use this book for fundraising purposes in any way, shape, or form, and that this is simply the author’s personal desire to see her theological work benefit a ministry she believes in unto the glory of Jesus Christ. The author does not seek endorsement from Hope For the World in any manner, and the views contained in this book are those of the author.

Powerless But Not Helpless

Powerless But Not Helpless by Buddy C. is a self-help book about taking steps to overcome addictive behaviors and alcoholism.  This exceptional book is written with inspiration from Tao Te Ching, a highly regarded work of Chinese classic literature addressing how to live a virtuous life, from the wisdom of Lao Tzu. The author addresses how to live a life free of addiction and alcoholism while pulling from the wisdom of Lao Tzu and applying life virtues to the recovery journey. 

Readers will discover a book that is rich with practical tips and wisdom to help those struggling with a life of addiction, ensuring that the recovery journey is holistic and spiritually sound. Buddy C. takes a well-rounded approach to address recovery with virtues, personal affirmations, and spiritual fruit. He addresses 81 verses of Lao Tzu and applies them to the recovery process. With statements from Living To Give and Surrendering Expectations to Love Is The Bridge and My Loss Is My Gain, there are many calls to action throughout this book to provide help and support for anyone who reads it. 

There is much wisdom in the pages of this influential book for anyone struggling with substance abuse, addiction, and even low self-esteem. The author provides readers with the tools needed at any stage of their recovery. I really appreciated that the author shared his personal experience with readers, which made me feel confident in the advice he provided.

Powerless But Not Helpless can help readers develop a positive mindset and overcome obstacles they might face during their lifetime. Readers who enjoy self-help books, and words of wisdom, will find this an enlightening read. For those looking to better themselves, this is an excellent place to start that journey to become a more well-rounded person with a broader mindset. I feel this could be a challenging read, filled with self-reflection, but the outcome is worth it. 

Pages: 191 | ASIN : B09HMPHY7V

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A TEAR OF JOY A TEAR OF SORROW

What do you see when you look through biblical stories and the relationship between God and man? Do you see a judgmental God eager to bring down the hammer on erring men, or do you see a loving father painfully wading through the errors of man and their inevitable consequences as he works on his master plan to save humanity and once again be reunited with his children?

A Tear of Joy A Tear of Sorrow is an attempted expository look at the scriptures from God’s perspective using evidence from the same scriptures. The author traces the display of God’s love and his experience of sorrow through the defining moments in the scriptures, right from Adam and Eve’s fall. This shows that God wasn’t a passive bystander and he was involved all along, demonstrating his love while persevering through the pangs of pain man’s actions and their consequences caused him. The author takes biblical accounts and examines them based on their immediate context and in the context of the entire scriptures, peeling open the layers to reveal insights about God’s consistent character throughout history.

What’s interesting is how the book points out the often-overlooked personal sacrifices God had to make in defining moments such as the expelling of man from Eden, the flood, and the disbandment of the congregation at the Tower of Babel. It also looks at how these events worked together to keep man on the path to true redemption. Overall, it’s a thought-provoking interpretation of Bible stories people may have gotten too familiar with to properly appreciate. The narrative structure of the book makes it easy to read and keeps you engaged. It also reflects thoughts that are very well put together and, given the topic, digestible.

If you want answers to some pressing questions like how God could allow tragedies like the flood to happen or why he’d even allow Adam and Eve to be tested in the first place, or just why he allows anything untoward to happen to those he claims he loves, this book may give you some. It provides a different way to look at the stories beyond their superficial details.

Works like this are generally considered to be highly opinionated but some opinions are worthy of attention. A Tear of Joy A Tear of Sorrow is an enlightening read that I would recommend to readers looking for a refreshing look at scripture.

Pages: 283 | ASIN : B089HWK493

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Did Jesus Die For Dogs?

Did Jesus Die For Dogs?: What does the Bible say? by [Steven Boint]

Rev Steven J. Boint helps readers understand the Supreme Being that is God and how humans relate to him in his book, Did Jesus Die For Dogs? In the book the author analyzes different theological narratives and how they have shaped the lives of Christians around the world. The tone of the text is neutral and the author is objective with the points  that he shares. Along the way the reverend uses bible scriptures to help the reader comprehend the creation story, sin and how Christ loves his people.

As a follower of Christ, one is assured of God’s unending love and mercy. The author writes about God’s love and why every creature on earth exists because of his grace. There are multiple lessons on salvation and how broad Christianity is. Did Jesus Die For Dogs? is a a surprisingly thought-provoking book, considering the title. This book enlightens the reader on the role of Christianity and living righteously. The discussions are sober and the author is impartial in his analysis. Rev. Steven Boint has written a short but deep book that explores Christian salvation, and if it applies to dogs.

Pages: 29 | ASIN: B0867FSZY5

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Between the Ticks of the Clock

Between the Ticks of the Clock by [Barnes, J.H. Carpenter]

Between the Ticks of the Clock by J.H. Barnes is a spiritual novel that evokes the senses of mystery and redemption. It’s an introspective story that helps frame theological and societal questions within a framework particular to the dredges and monotony faced in daily life. This is accomplished through the perspective of the novel’s main character, Jamison Haro

ld Donovan, an executive working for a business known as Omni Cron Corp. Donovan is placed within the confines of a failing marriage and a dreary workplace. However, it becomes clear that these factors are minute points in a grander tale. This banal existence is quickly juxtaposed by a spiritual experience, where Donovan comes to grips with forces higher than himself and where he leaves the event a changed and more enlightened individual. From there, the novel examines Donovan’s growth and his spiritual enlightenment while at the same time highlighting the challenges and responsibilities that come with such an awakening. Between the Ticks of the Clock is unique in its pondering and musings, and as the novel progresses, it ascends to newer heights and different dimensions than one could have anticipated.

More importantly, Between the Ticks of the Clock is written in a literary style incredibly suited to its plot. The diction is easily digestible and the first-person narrative helps place the reader within the shoes of Jamison Harold Donavon, allowing us to experience some of the spiritual revelations he faces. This is coupled with emotive word choices that help paint clear imagery and scenes for the reader. J.H. Barnes does a wonderful job in setting the scene. All of this is framed within a writing style that is introspective, ethereal, and lithe. When taken as a whole, one is left with strong themes and feelings of wonder, of spirituality, and of internal pondering once the book is put down. However, there are moments where this style of writing can lead to some confusion. Points of discussion within the novel are often interjected with additional ideas or flashbacks that might hinder some comprehension of the overall idea. Yet, this stylistic choice helps remind us that the story is based around the perspective of Donavon, and this free-form stream of consciousness helps remind the reader that these experiences are still derived from a human perspective and thus creates a sense of immersion.

Overall, Between the Ticks of the Clock by J.H. Barnes is a lucidly written novel that provides readers with hard-hitting questions about life, religion, and their place in the modern world. It is an incredibly deep story, filled with important ideas and concepts.

Pages: 288 | ASIN: B07GC8GSZK

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A Pandeistic Universe

Knujon Mapson Author Interview

Knujon Mapson Author Interview

Pandeism: An Anthology is a collection of work from different authors that seeks to provide intellectual backing to the idea of pandeism. Why was this an important book for you to put together?

Pandeism is a pretty old idea, but is one which has very long been little known — discussed almost exclusively in scholarly and academic settings, and usually in a sort of abstract and theoretical way. Perhaps that will always be its primary locus of discussion, but as scientific knowledge comes to match up better and better with a pandeistic Universe, it would be a wonderful thing for people to be made aware that this possibility is out there. And as the Anthology writings show, it has proved itself worthy of consideration from many angles.

There is surely some long-term gain to be realized, as well, from a world wherein people generally understand that all things are part of our Creator, and all life ought to be accorded the respect due to even a fragment of our Creator. And even as Pandeists bear no club with which to threaten ‘disbelievers’ with eternal torment or the like, imagine how you might react if you felt there was a possibility — a reasonably high probability even — that if ours were a created Universe at all, then it would be the sort of Universe in which your own actions towards others (and, more largely writ, everybody else’s actions towards everybody else) directly dictated the experiences which would be had by your Creator; and not only by your Creator but quite possibly by every entity ever existing — including yourself, to some immeasurable extent, all of these being your Creator, which has momentarily (for perhaps just a few hundred billion years) become fragmented apart. If there is any possibility that we are creating experiences to be shared with by our Creator, ought we not by this knowledge to be motivated to create positive experiences, for ourselves, and for one another?

And though all of these are, in my view, respectable reasons for my advocacy and regular formulation of new arguments, the simple truth is that I love the idea for its elegance, for its simplicity, for the strength of its explanatory power wrapped in extrapolations from a few simple assumptions of logical necessity. And so I want to pull it down from the academic tower and present it in ways suitable for a larger slice of the world to get to grasp it.

You work with sixteen authors on this anthology. How did this book come together and what was it like working with so many bright writers?

As to how it all came about, I first began putting together the ideas for a book on the topic some thirteen years ago. I always knew that I wanted to write about Pandeism, and I researched intensely, and found other people who had written on the topic and in the area. I never intended to do an anthology, but as I worked on my own book, it seemed to just get more and more sprawling. I was trying to grasp in all of the ideas that I could possibly cover, and it was more than I could do. And then, at some point, I simply threw my hands up and decided that it was not something that I would ever be able to finish.

But, as I pored over the many writings which I had accumulated in the area overtime, and the connections I had made with people who write in this area, I was struck by the fact that I might well be able to assemble enough to make a book that captured many of the ideas that I wished to express, but which had already been put into words in other ways by other people. And once I had had that realization, the whole structure of the book, the give and take and opposing viewpoints and variety of possible approaches simply came together, almost instantaneously. I immediately knew, for example, that I wanted to have poems punctuated the sections, and to divide the book in the general sort of way in which it ended up, and I am tremendously gratified with the result.

One of the most remarkable experiences and joys of my life has been working with these authors. I ought to mention that two of the writers were deceased — one, nearly one hundred years before, and the other just a few years ago, a good friend who I had been in communication with and who had written his piece for me before his quite untimely death, years before I ever knew I was going to assemble an anthology. But as to all the rest, every one of them was note only a unique and powerfully thoughtful and excellent to communicate with, but remains a friend. Really, it is like we are a family of fellow travelers along the same route. There are several of them who I bounce ideas off of frequently.

The book is separated into three sections, the fundamentals of Pandeism, philosophical implications, and criticism from other views. Why was it important to include alternate analysis of pandeism?

Most works on a specific theological point of view are told from the proposition of that view being true. And indeed, even anthologies written within specific faiths tend often to be single-minded collections of endorsements of that faith. There is something about such an approach which instead rings untrue to me — if your belief system is so ironclad, why only present one side of it? And yet we know there are those who dispute the truth of every theological model, so why not present their arguments directly and let the reader choose who has made more sense? Why collect an anthology at all if all the views provided assume the same position?

If we only present arguments favoring Pandeism, or even present only one view of Pandeism, then we are doing the readers a disservice. It is not the sort of position which can be insisted to be true in a gnostic sense. It is one logical possibility out of a field of them, with certain points of logical appeal, but at the same time with an acknowledged impossibility of knowing the truth of it. And even if there are those who believe that it is untrue, it presents a paradigm which they must contend with. Neither Atheism nor any Theistic faith can escape the intellectual obligation to confront the possibility of this model, and when they do so, and commit to it in a serious way, some great and deep writing is bound to result from this.

What do you hope readers take away from Pandeism: An Anthology?

Well, firstly I really hope that readers take away the sense that Pandeism, as a theological model, is indeed a serious possibility. And secondly, I hope to just really make people think about all the possibilities that are out there, and the fact that there are indeed so many possibilities which are unknown. I want readers to feel a bit challenged and a bit enlightened and more than a bit informed. One thing, I think, about this book, with its breadth of authors and approaches from diverse and sometimes opposing viewpoints, is that it is impossible to read it through without learning something of interest, something which will stay with you for the rest of your life thereafter. I hope that readers take away a lot of feelings like that, and that every reader takes away at least something like that.

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Pandeism: An Anthology presents the work of sixteen authors, new and old, examining the implications of the revolutionary evolutionary theological theory of Pandeism – the proposition that the Creator of our Universe created by becoming our Universe, and that this proposition can be demonstrated through the exercise of logic and reason. These authors present a wide range of views originating from their varied experiences, from professional theologians and religious educators to lay philosophers with PhDs in the hard sciences. Collectively, these authors have assembled the most extensive examination of Pandeism put to print in over a hundred years.

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Pandeism: An Anthology

Is God real? If He is, where he is and why does he allow certain things to happen? Is our current status a result of constant evolving Or a conscious action of an entity granting each individual a choice? I am quite certain that everyone has had the above mentioned questions at some point in their lives.

The book Pandeism: An Anthology edited by Knujon Mapson is one of the few works that could be classified into an intellectual query, or rather a search for one of the fundamental beliefs or belief systems existing in the modern world – Existence of God. Keeping aside what may or may not be my bias for or against such topics, I will give the editor a round of applause for carefully selecting and presenting an interesting collection of essays.

The anthology has been grouped into three sections, The fundamentals of Pandeism, Philosophical implications and Criticism And analysis from other views. The sixteen authors of the essays are by scholars and doctorate holders. These individuals have often, through their pursuit in their field of study, have come into the realm of beliefs and religion. Each of them, in their own way, have tried to provide a logical inference based on their understanding and how they see the supernatural entity or God in other words. The essays themselves are an intellectual search they performed while wondering about the divine, which forms the basic belief. There are four major principles which have been taken as the yardstick, they are: God as the primary cause and the long held beliefs – God being an entity which is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient.

In the middle section, the essays describe the philosophical leanings of the Pandeism. This section also contemplates the drive of living things to live, and of intelligent life to better itself, achieving some remarkable conclusions about the desire of non-omnipotent beings to obtain omnipotence — and of an omnipotent being to destroy itself and begin anew.

The last section describes that Pandeism has drawn both a critical and comparative eye from adherents to other theological models. The above can be seen by the conventional practice in organizing comparative religious literature, seems to be to order pieces so that conventional Western world views are given prominence. This is balanced with the comparative study and analysis of the different world religions such as Hinduism. There are also other views which encompass some nontraditional approaches as well.

This book stimulates the mind to ponder over one of the basic queries. This book is for those who would like to indulge their intellectual faculties. Admittedly, the level of comprehension is higher than a run of the mill book, but still makes for a good read.

Pages: 473 | ASIN: B01N0MHK72

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