For those who like fantasy and sci-fi, here's a book worth checking out, The Eternal Messiah: Jesus of K'turia by W.R.Pursche and Michael Gabriele. (Read the interview with Bill Pursche below the book description.)
The essence of the story?
A religious preacher brings a message of sacrifice and compassion, enticing the people to break free of their meaningless and lifeless customs. His gospel challenges both the ritualistic religious leaders and a foreign occupying power.
His name is Jesus.
But this is not ancient Palestine, but another planet. Coincidence? Or proof of the universal God?
Kalinda Prentiss is a renowned expert in her field of cultural anthropology. In her work with indigenous cultures she begins to see amazing similarities in their path to advancement -- similarities based on their acceptance of a religious Messiah. Yet when she documents her work and presents it to the scientific community, she is ridiculed for her belief that societal advancement could in any way be connected to God.
Treb Win has left his home and joined the military to escape the memories of the loss of his life mate. Bereft of purpose, he tries to lose himself in his work, his goal of achieving personal enlightenment now an impossible dream without the support of his mate and his people.
Prentiss is demoted from her prestigious position and sent to work on Win's obscure research ship. Though convinced of her theory of the link between religion and technical advancement, she vows never to trust the scientific establishment again to have an open mind toward her ideas.
Win and Prentiss become embroiled in a secretive military mission neither of them want any part of. They end up on another planet searching for a missing freighter carrying illicit government weapons which, if discovered, could start a cataclysmic war.
Here they witness something extraordinary: a religious preacher named Jesus appears. He brings a compelling message of faith and sacrifice, encouraging the people to break free from their meaningless lives. His gospel threatens both the local religious leaders and an oppressive occupying power.
Win knows little of Jesus but is curiously drawn to this preacher, kindling a spark in his long lost sense of purpose as he listens to Jesus' gospel. Prentiss believes she has the ultimate proof of her theory, but as she witnesses events unfold which are eerily similar to what happened on Earth, she must make a desperate choice between her work, her faith, and trying to stop what she fears may be the final outcome for Jesus
The science fiction elements are downplayed and serve only as a vehicle to allow the story to unfold in the future and in another place. The book will appeal to adults, Christian teenagers, and readers of religious fiction such as the "Left Behind" series. Though it is not a literal retelling of the New Testament, the inherent message -- salvation through grace, and personal actions driven by the gift of sacrifice -- is one that will be well understood and accepted by those of faith.
This is a unique story that both expands the thinking of people of faith while at the same time challenging those who are not believers or those who insist on a scientific explanation of God.
My interview with Bill Pursche
What is the bottom line of the story?
That faith will provide strength, even if one is surrounded by those who insist on a ‘scientific’ explanation of God: “Who are they who would say that the truth of faith is any less than the truth of evidence?”
And that just because you are not rich, or powerful, you can still do something to help make the world better. Each to their own ability.
What motivated you to write this book?
Ever since I was young, I was always fascinated by the question of how people would react if Jesus were to appear again. What would they do? What would they believe? What would he say?
That was the genesis of the idea. To keep the story more focused on the spiritual message, the story is set not only in the future, but on another planet. This also allowed the story to address another key question: How will God appear in the universe?
Janey DeMeo M.A.
Copyright © July 2011