Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Author Interview – Lee Harmon

What inspires you to write and why? Many, many people today are discouraged with traditional Christianity, unable to reconcile conservative beliefs, or the exclusivism, yet they miss the wholesomeness and social setting of church. I consider myself an “agnostic, liberal Christian,” and I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to throw out the baby with the bathwater. I do not mix my discipleship of Jesus with my religious beliefs. The word “liberal” in liberal Christianity, by the way, is not meant in the political sense … but in a the pluralistic sense.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I have pretty much moved away from all genres except religion. My area of expertise is as a Bible scholar and first-century historian, so that further limits me to Christianity.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? Well, the truth is that writing Bible expositions, even presenting them as partly fiction, steers me away from the greatest challenge: writers block. I have it easy … I can, and do, simply progress through scripture verse-by-verse, letting it direct the story. So, for me the most challenging thing is research and verification. But, that is also the most fun part.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Oh, yes! Without question I learned a great deal about the beliefs of the Johannine Community, and how they differed from more mainstream Christians. John’s Gospel is a fascinating, philosophical, highly intelligent piece of literature. The deeper you study, the more respect you gain for it.

Do you intend to make writing a career? No. I write to communicate, to share with others. My career in computer software development will end in retirement shortly (God willing) and I will have more time to write, but it will never be considered a career. Just a way of enjoying and sharing.

Have you developed a specific writing style? I’m sure others are better able to detect a style than I am. The truth about my first book on religion, Revelation: The Way It Happened, is that it went through three different editors as I prepared it for publication. These editors, naturally, often disagreed with each other. I would change the text to read one way, and the next editor would change it back. Consequently, it’s quite possible I suppose that very little of the real me still exists in the manuscript, except for the underlying message.

What happens if we pull John’s Gospel out from the shadow of the other three, and grant John a mind of his own? What will he have to say? Why does this gospel deviate so drastically from the theology of the others? Could this really be the reminiscing of an original apostle, sixty years after the death of Jesus? Were Christians finally being made privy to the direct teachings and miracles of the Son of God?

Listen in as John finally dictates his version of the Jesus story to a Gentile scribe and a disheartened fellow Jew.

In this astonishing and controversial verse-by-verse examination of the Fourth Gospel, you’ll learn to appreciate John’s contribution to Christianity in a surprising new way. I guarantee, you’ve never read John’s Gospel like this before!

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Genre – Religion / Christianity

Rating – G

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