by Eliza Wood |
My religious suspense thriller, Crisis of Faith, is a book that creates awareness and draws public attention to a set of problems we need to face in biblical teachings. While not welcome change in many circles, the Crisis of Faith book serves as a platform for progress, a launching pad for action. The goal of the book is to enlighten, inspire, and invite progress. Over time, perhaps readers of many faiths and many denominations can call for positive change within their own faith communities.
The range of reactions to the book is growing wider. So far, most people absolutely love it; often I’m told they think it is timely, challenging, and relevant. Some react quietly, with surprise and outrage, at the thought that right under their noses have been some dark, horrific Bible verses they never knew existed; and they have to wrestle uncomfortably with the feeling of having been deceived into thinking the Bible is all about goodness.
Clearly, it calls into question some Bible verses and forces readers to take a step they never thought they would. It causes thought. It causes action.
On a personal level, it hits right between the eyes. If you are someone averse to change, like most people, it certainly leaves its mark in the way of a dilemma. Do you stand up and voice opposition to the Bible? Do you file the book away on your shelf as something you might reference from time to time? Do you recommend it to a few friends, but not others who might take offense and blacklist you socially?
One of the most fascinating books of the last decade was The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Well researched and easy to read, it is a book that brings awareness about food production in the U.S. and the relationship of corn to many health issues we now face as a nation; and it doesn’t just point out a problem, it challenges readers to take action. The author encourages readers to vote with their dollars when they go food shopping. We may not feel powerful against the massive food-production industry with all its questionable practices, but in fact we are. If we spend some of our money to support local growers and organic products, we personally force higher food standards and we all win. Each vote counts. We matter.
In Michael Pollan’s case for change, we are what we eat. In my case for change, what we think about we bring about. If we want an end to violence, hatred, and discrimination, we must consider and revise what we read and teach.
We are powerful. If we take a small form of action, perhaps by starting an online petition in our own churches to distance ourselves from the former versions of the Bible and to gain consensus to buy The Pacific Bible — a Bible version that promotes the Bible’s peaceful scriptures. Perhaps as an individual you can order them as gifts for friends. Perhaps you can start a task force to review the Sunday-school curriculum in your faith institution and recommend some updates.
Whatever form of action we take, wherever we fall on the continuum of progress, let it not be that we become disgruntled souls who wind up in the lost and found of believers. God is one thing, and not one of us knows the entirety of what God is. The Bible is another, and it matters what lessons we promote.
Yes, we may have been snowed for a long time. That is hard to live with. We may have been flat-out lied to if we were taught the Bible is all good, that’s true.
Perhaps that is because many religions have already moved beyond some of these problematic biblical teachings; they just never called for revisions to the Bible text itself. Joel Osteen in his popular ministry is a great example of this. He does not go near the negative, problematic Bible messages in his ministry, and he does pretty well focusing on positivity and inspiration.
Change is possible within religion; sometimes it is so slow that we cannot sense it happening, but it does happen. We can use our energy that way, to improve something that is already good. That’s what we can do.
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“Controversial, challenging, and meticulously researched, Eliza Wood’s Crisis of Faith is equal parts thriller and cautionary tale of religious extremism and home-grown terrorism, questioning where we are going as a nation and as a planet.”
‒ James Rollins
—New York Times bestselling author of Bloodline
The Tale of Queen Jehan And The Three Kingdoms is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that teaches racial, ethnic and religious cooperation through metaphor.
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