The Sadnesses

MMy new book, A Conspiracy of Breath, deals with some very dark subject matter. My heroine, the historical figure Priscilla who is mentioned several times in the Bible in conjunction with her husband Aquila, miscarries her first child. However, even though she did not have a full-term pregnancy, she nonetheless experienced what we would today call post-partum depression. Though I have not personally experienced that kind of depression, I have seen it in someone I love. It was excruciating to watch. Here is how I described Priscilla and her friend Cordelia in the midst of this mental trial. It was the nighttime that was worst. Each evening, to Aquila’s bewilderment, I would feel myself begin to splinter like wooden table legs when a wagonload is unloaded onto...

Reason #203: Guest Post, “Not the Jesus of Joseph” by Kathy F. Sanders

Not the Jesus of Joseph I forever cut my ties with Mormonism after I discovered the Jesus of the Bible and the Jesus of Mormonism were not the same person.  Jesus was never an elder brother who had the most valiant plan in the pre-existence during a Council in Heaven. Jesus was, is and always has been absolutely God, co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  Only blood from the real Jesus can wash away the stench of our sin. Soon after experiencing this spiritual cleansing, I devoured all the supposedly “anti-Mormon” literature I could find and realized it was actually “truth literature” that carefully and concisely peeled away the layers of Mormon deceptions. Everything I read only confirmed my suspicions that the Jesus of Joseph Smith could not...

Saccharine Saints: Is it defamation to “add to” a Bible character?

One of the challenges of writing Biblical fiction is that, in order to make sure that people mentioned in the Bible don’t come across as “saccharine saints.” Even though the protagonist of my biblical historical fiction book, A Conspiracy of Breath, could be identified solely from the Bible as Pristine Priscilla, I portrayed her with very human characteristics:  envy, stubbornness, depression, and even anger. I recently read an interesting article about the legal implications of writing about actual people. (Do you know what constitutes defamation? According to this article, you should!) Of course, Priscilla isn’t around to counter any way I portrayed her. Here is an excerpt from A Conspiracy of Breath. What are your thoughts on...

The Woman Who Would Carry God

Many women loved Jesus. Some followed Him around and cooked for Him, just to be near Him. At least one didn’t cook for Him, on purpose, just to be near Him. But one woman loved Him enough to carry Him around. Literally, to carry Him around. When He rose from the dead, Mary Magdalene, the gospel of John tells us, remained outside the trampled tomb. The disciples had believed her about the vacated gravesite but once they saw for themselves, they went back home. Mary’s grief, though, couldn’t be contained. She stood outside the door – did her tears spatter its threshold? She stared at the two angels, headboard and footboard, with their questions; but couldn’t meet the eyes of the man who’d silently approached behind her. He asked questions, too; but...

Competence: Mary and Martha

COMPETENCE AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MEASUREMENT IN THE STORY OF MARY AND MARTHA Copyright  Latayne C. Scott   The issue of competence is one that plagues Christians; and the knotty problem of what is proper for a Christian to measure and assess troubles us too.   First of all, when we think about the psychology of measurement, we know that the Bible teaches that not all measuring is wrong.  Jesus said that we should judge, but do so with a right judgement.   We know of other examples of measuring, such as counting the cost of discipleship.  Jesus said that before a man builds a tower or goes to war, he must make sure that he has the resources to finish or to win.  Jesus assessed His own situation:  He knew that being equal with God wasn’t...

Does God Change His Mind?

DOES GOD CHANGE HIS MIND? Exodus 32:14, in speaking of how God did not bring about disaster to the people of Israel says that He “changed His mind” (NAS).  The King James Version says He “repented,” while the NIV says He “relented.” A similar situation is found in Isaiah 38 (parallel passage found in 2 Kings 20) where God announced through Isaiah that Hezekiah’s illness was fatal, but after the king prayed and wept God had Isaiah announce that he would live 15 years longer. What happened?  Did God lie?   Did He change His mind? I Samuel 15:29 says, “He who is the glory of Israel does not lie or change His mind, for He is not a man, that He should change His mind” (NIV.)  This passage states that lying and changing one’s mind are two...