Hey friends, just wanted to give you a heads up on a few things.
1) My new novel, American Midnight...Well, clearly it isn't here yet. Otherwise there's be a lot of excitement on here!! Our publisher, Silver Leaf Books, is having a little trouble with our new printer (no need to go down that labyrinthine road). But needless to say, the book is coming...HOPEFULLY in June! Because I have two big venues to sell the book at in July...and I'm already committed.
2) Other news...I'll have some new Christian sci-fi author interviews here on the blog in the next week or so. I'm looking forward to hearing about these authors endeavors.
3) My newest solo project which I'm tentatively titling "Mind Rider" is still chugging along...
4) My son, Nathan Kal-El Barr, is 7 months old today! Hurray :)
5) Lastly, A question for any friends reading this... any thing cool and significant going on in your lives, writing-wise or other?
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Hello everybody. Amanda here again to do another review.
By Darkness Hid separately follows two main characters, Achan and Vrell. Their stories end up converging toward the end of the book.
Achan Cham is a young man, who has been raised as a stray. He is the lowest of the low. However, a knight chooses Achan to train as his squire. Achan finds himself in several surprising situations throughout the story. Situations in which his status as a stray does not help.
Achan also has a repressed gift of bloodvoicing. He is able to hear other people’s thoughts and communicate with his mind to other bloodvoicers. Achan learns of his gift, previously thought to be a myth, and learns how to use it properly.
Vrell Sparrow, is a young woman the crown prince of Er’Rets wants to marry. Vrell does not want to marry Prince Gidon, so she disguises herself as a boy, a stray, and goes into hiding. Her gift of bloodvoicing is sensed by the evil Master Hadar and he “captures” her to train as his apprentice. Vrell, struggles to keep her mind closed so she can keep her secret identity.
Achan and Vrell’s bloodvoicing gifts bring them together and they become friends and help each other.
I feel that my summary does not do the book justice.
Like I said above, I thoroughly enjoyed By Darkness Hid. The story was so easy to read. I read it through the first time pretty quickly. If I can read through a book quickly, I take that as a good sign. It means that the story was written smoothly. It means that I did not have to stop and question characters’ actions or motives. It means that the author did a great job drawing me into the world of the story.
The plot of the story was full of intrigue and suspense. I would definitely classify this book as a “page-turner”.
For another great review check out Rebecca LuElla Miller’s blog. She dives into the deeper meanings behind things in the book.
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
John W. Otte
Rachel Starr Thomson
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Whether someone is a Buddhist, Jew, Christian,agnostic, atheist, or holds some other label of belief, one can take that belief, and see if that worldview fits with reality. Does it answer the above questions adequately in accord with reality.
As a child born of Christian parents, at some point I began to question my parents beliefs. This was more of an intellectual searching, for I had experienced God personally, spiritually, but nonetheless, questions began to creep in. Was the Christian worldview true, or was it lacking in comparison to another worldview? Did another worldview excell at explaining the world around me?
I began to explore the realm of Christian apologetics (which is the pursuit of defending the Christian faith). I watched debates between Christians and atheists, Christians and Jews, Christians and Muslims. The men debating were experts on the topics, most holding doctorates. In this way, I was able to hear the best responses from both sides, and this allowed me to understand the other sides best arguments for why their worldview is best. To my delight, I found over and over again that it was the Christian worldview that won out in these debates.
These Christian apologists have my deep respect. And for this blog, I want to highlight the most influential of these Christian defenders in my life, Dr. William Lane Craig. This man's work has personally strengthend my faith by showing that intellectually, Christianity is the most robust worldview. I have watched almost a dozen debates of his, and listened to hundreds of hours of his podcasts...the man is a wonderful brother in Christ who has devoted his life to serving God in the field of apologetics. If you do nothing else, please, go check out his website at www.reasonablefaith.org. It has free audio and video of his lectures, debates, and speeches
Here's a short bio of Dr. Craig:
William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology. With earned doctorates in philosophy and theology, he has established a reputation as one of the most prominent Christian philosophers of our day. His publications, debates, and internet presence have made him a highly visible champion of Christian faith. His seminary textbook, Reasonable Faith, is widely considered to be the best book on Christian apologetics today. God is Good, God is Great: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible (IVP), edited by Craig and Chad Meister, was chosen as Christianity Today’s Book of the Year in the Apologetics/Evangelism category.
And below here is an interview with Craig and a little more info on the book. Check it out and please comment me and let me know what your thoughts are on this topic.
We are currently experiencing a renaissance of interest in Christian apologetics. Due to the virulent attacks of the New Atheists, the Internet Infidels, and all manner of Biblical Bashers, along with a rising anti-evangelical bias in the media, evangelical Christians are demanding training in how to defend their Christian faith. There is a need for a well-rounded training manual that provides the “how-tos” of defending the Christian worldview. William Lane Craig’s new book, On Guard, intends to be that manual.
A highly accessible, visual, and concise book loaded with helpful figures and interesting sidebars, On Guard is a one-stop guidebook to learn how to defend your faith. Combining the four core arguments for God’s existence with a case for the historicity of Jesus, this readable book also addresses difficult issues such as the problems of suffering and religious relativism.
An interview with On Guard author William Lane Craig
Q: What is apologetics? Why do you think we’re experiencing a renewed interest in Christian apologetics?
Apologetics is the study of the defense of our faith and Scriptures. This is taken directly out of Scripture where Jesus appealed to the evidence of his miracles and fulfilled prophecy as authentication of his claims, and the Apostle Paul does the same:
“As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. ‘This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,’ he said. 4Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women (Acts 17:2-4).
In Scripture we are commanded to:
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (I Peter 3:15).”
Q: Your works are well known in seminary and intellectual circles. What caused you to write a more readable and relatable guide on apologetics?
As I speak around the country and other parts of the world, increasingly, people have responded so positively to what I have said in lectures and debates with atheists that they, too, would like to learn some basic logical principles of reasoning and arguments for our faith. Christianity stands head and shoulders above any other world view, and you can show why with confidence.
Q: Describe how the American culture has slowly but surely become post-Christian. What can we expect as our culture continues on this path?
People in the United States still believe in God, but religious relativism has become the conventional wisdom of the day. Jesus Christ has become politically incorrect. I have seen on campuses where I speak that Christians are now labeled “immoral” because they are not open-minded, but are intolerant and bigoted.
Q: What are some of your experiences as you’ve lectured and debated in the European world, where Christian belief has become somewhat antiquated?
The sobering thing is that where Christianity has retreated, especially in Europe, false views fill this void, and people succumb to views like secularism and Islam. They then find themselves without a proper foundation to fight these ideologies.
Q: What caused you to pursue apologetics with such vigor? Why would you encourage others to consider training in apologetics?
I became a Christian at the age of 16, when I sat down behind a gal in my German class, and, well, she was the kind of person that was always so happy that it just made me sick! I was feeling particularly miserable, and so I asked her, “Sandy, what in the world are you always so happy about anyway?” And to my shock, she replied, “Well, Bill, it’s because I’m saved. I know Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord!” To make a long story short, within 6 months, I committed my life to Christ. Then I felt the daunting responsibility of sharing with my family and friends the truth of Christianity. But how? That began my quest for a sound defense.
Q: How do you envision that On Guard might be used?
On Guard can easily be used by pastors in referring the book to students who want in depth answers especially when challenged by their teachers in high school or professors at the university. Youth pastors can use this book to mentor students. I also see groups like Bible studies, Sunday school classes, and home groups learning together these timeless arguments and evidence. I have even received a letter from an Australian Sunday School teacher who uses this material to teach his eight and nine year old students!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
So, in honor of Star Wars day, would anyone like to share about their favorite character in the series? I'm going to have to go with Han Solo. I can't think of another character who transformed as much as he did between episode 4 and6
May the 4th be with you...I mean, may the force be with you.