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Sep 12 2010

New horror novel, complete with a crisis of faith!

No, the crisis of faith isn’t supposed to be the horrifying part. It’s a murder mystery called The Faithful that’s coming out October 1:
About the book:

Conflicted with his faith in God and the hypocrisy of the church, Aidan, an assistant pastor, is already a spiritual battleground. When he learns that his ex-fiancee was murdered in a possibly demonic ritual, he finds himself catapulted into an even deeper fight. Tormented by demonic threats and haunted spirits in the afterlife, Aidan becomes a medium that will hold the key to solving this murder mystery. As Catholic priests, paranormal investigators and rogue law enforcement seek Aidan out, readers both secular and religious will find that the Faithful tears at the emotions and doubts of humankind.

About the author:

Jonathan Weyer is a campus minister at Ohio State University and is ordained in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. He is the founder of The Thomas Society, a student-led ministry dedicated to answering questions from skeptics, doubters, agnostics, and atheists. Jonathan is also the only Christian minister to have been added to the Secular Student Alliance speaker’s bureau. During the transition from church to campus ministry, Jonathan wrote the Faithful, combining his love of scary stories and his experience with doubters. He lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife Wendy, three kids, and a crazy cat.

For the sake of full disclosure, you should know that Jon and I are friends. Jen friends with a minister?! Shocking, I know. I haven’t read the book yet, but if it’s half as engaging as Jon is in person, it’ll be wonderful. I’m sure his constant exposure to us crazy atheists will help him handle the “crisis of faith” in a non-cheesy way… though I have a sneaking suspicion the pastor will see the light. ;)

And hell, if you can’t plug your friend’s book on your own blog, what’s a blog good for?

Jon was nice enough to share a more religious focused passage with us. Blag Hag exclusive material, woo!

I shrugged, “Yeah, you’re right. Natural, I guess. But, first, let me ask you a question.”

She raised her eyebrow at me as took a sip of her ginger ale. “Ask away, preacher.”

“What do you believe?”

“About God? I guess I believe there is one.”

“What does that mean?” I asked, folding my arms across my body, taking my “I’m going to teach” position.

“Well, I guess I’m not sure. I mean, I was raised Catholic, but I don’t go to Mass much anymore. I don’t hold to most of what the church teaches.”

Doesn’t that usually go with being an American Catholic?” I asked, smirking a bit.

“True,” Jennifer said. “I guess I have my own religion. You know, I believe in God and spirituality. I’m spiritual, but not religious.”

“Okay, let me stop you there. What does that mean, spiritual but not religious?”

She stared out the window, watching the Gallery Hop crowd pass by our table.

“You know, I have never really thought about it. I guess it means acknowledging God, being thankful, nice to people, helping in the community and all that. I guess a little praying gets thrown in there too, especially on some of the cases I have to investigate.”

“Okay, so this God you pray to, what is He or She like? Can you describe this entity?”

“Well, no, I guess it’s more of a feeling.”

“Exactly. Why do you need God to be a good person, to be nice and all that? You don’t.”

She folded her arms across her chest.

“So, who says what’s nice? Someone has to enforce the law.”

“So, God is a universal cop? That’s comforting.” I tried to keep the scorn out of my voice.

“No, I mean, laws come from somewhere right?”

“Sure. Society. It’s in the best interests of society for laws to be made.”

She slowly nodded her head. “I see what you’re saying, but I don’t buy it.”

“But what do you buy? This God you can’t define other than good feelings or ‘facts’ that you can’t prove?” I had leaned in close, far enough that our faces were almost touching.

Jennifer backed away, slowly nodding her head. “I guess, but I have hard time believing there isn’t something out there.”

“Like what? It could be anything, as Dawkins says. It could be a flying spaghetti monster. You don’t know.”

“True, I guess.”

“I suppose I don’t believe in God anymore because I see no other alternative,” I said. “I think the whole vague, spirituality thing is a crock, excuse me. Either believe in God, do what he says, or don’t. Why try to have both? It’s just hypocritical holding on to the notion of God without any of the responsibilities.”

You can pre-order a copy of The Faithful here.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    Andrew Hall

    I’m always interested in listening to liberal Christians trying to explain away things like Hell, the physical resurrection of Jesus, and well… the whole bloody Old Testament.http://laughinginpurgatory.blo

  2. 2
    Hund'o Boiled Leaves

    I may have to pick this up! I like how he added a nod to the Flying Spaghetti Monster in there, too.

  3. 3
    Infidel753

    New horror novel, complete with a crisis of faith!This novel should have had Antoine Sharpe as its hero.

  4. 4
    Notagod

    If you must have christian friends just make sure you take a hot bath with lots of soap and scrubbing afterward. Its better to be safe than sorry.I can’t imagine a book written by a christian that wouldn’t contain something creepy in it, I think I’ll pass.

  5. 5
    naurae29

    notagod said, “I can’t imagine a book written by a christian that wouldn’t contain something creepy in it…”like, not *any* book? ’cause tonnes of books have been written by christians, and some of them are important and/or good. or do you just mean explicitly *christian* books?

  6. 6
    Jonathan Weyer

    Notagod, as it’s a creepy ghost story, I would hope there would be something creepy in it…

  7. 7
    LS

    I’m surprised there aren’t already 500 comments complaining that Jen is a hypocrite. Maybe the Internet is growing up! =D

  8. 8
    Leonard Andrew Spencer

    Speaking of horror, has anyone else seen the Cthulhu movie? I know Lovecraft adaptations don’t tend to go so well, but this one’s pretty good since it has actual characters and a storyline, and goes light on the special effects to avoid cheesiness. It’s an adaptation of Shadow over Innsmouth but set in the Pacific-Northwest, and the protagonist is a gay professor trying to settle his mother’s estate and resolve his family issues (mostly revolving around his father, the conservative town priest who’s very anxious for his son to have children). If you know your Lovecraft you know exactly what’s going to happen from the first frame, but it’s still interesting to see how Lovecrafts themes of small town parochialism/decay and the horror of heredity and family tradition fit so well with a gay protagonist.

  9. 9
    EdenBunny

    Already turned off by the sample…Interesting that he named the “spiritual but not religious” companion of the narrator “Jennifer”, and then gave her an easy-to-refute belief system.He takes Dawkins out of context and corrupts the idea of the FSM. No “spiritual” person (by the author’s definition) with an understanding of Dawkins or the FSM would be likely to reference either in that manner. I consider myself a “spiritual” person, but more in the secular sense. There’s no praying, no belief in any supernatural being, nor any belief in an afterlife, nor the need to invoke any form of mysticism to understand the human spirit. For most, if not all, purposes, the word “mind” is a perfectly appropriate replacement for the word “spirit”.My guess is that Dawkins and Jen (the real Jen, not the made-up one in the book…) share a similar view. It would have been both more credible and more entertaining if our blog hoster’s namesake had been a devout pastafarian instead of a straw man (straw woman?).The narrator, on the other hand is fairly believable, until you notice that he apparently doesn’t hold any belief at all; his only statement is to challenge the straw man of “spiritual [by a religious definition] but not religious”. He rejects religious belief, not because it is totally at odds with all historical and scientific evidence to date, not because it is ethically weak, not because it is logically inconsistent, but because he “sees no other alternative”, because he thinks “the whole vague, spirituality thing is a crock”. Gee, if he could only find some way of being both spiritual and religious, then he would get his “god groove” back…Jen (the real one) says that she suspects the pastor will “see the light” but my guess is that she’s referring to the light that’s shined on mirrors in a smoky room, not the light that is seen through a telescope and determined by parallax to be coming from millions of light years away.

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