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Eli 
by Bill Myers

Paperback - 352 pages 
August 1, 2000
Zondervan Publishing House
ISBN: 0310218039 

Available at:
  

From the back cover:

What if Jesus had not come until today?  Who would follow him?  Who would kill him?

A fiery car crash hurls TV journalist Conrad Davis into another world exactly like ours except for one detail Jesus Christ did not come 2,000 years ago, but today.

Starting with angels heralding a birth in the back of a motel laundry room, the skeptical Davis watches the gospel unfold in today's society as a Messiah in T-shirt and blue jeans heals, raises people from the dead, and speaks such startling truths that he captures the heart of a nation.

But the young man's actions and his criticism of the religious establishment earn him enemies as ruthless as they are powerful.

An intense and thought-provoking novel, Eli strips away religious tradition to present Jesus fresh and unvarnished. With gripping immediacy, Bill Myers weaves a story whose truth will refresh your faith.


Preface
Bill Myers
http://www.Billmyers.com

This is fiction, nothing more.  It's merely an attempt to examine some issues and to get us thinking about others. It is certainly no substitute for the real thing. Those familiar with my fiction know that I believe storytelling's greatest strength lies in its ability to stir up our thoughts. By putting the gospel in a contemporary setting, I've moved Christ out of my comfort zone and put him back in my face where he can test me, challenge me, and encourage me.  By stripping away the historical and cultural trappings that I hide behind to insulate myself from his truths, I allow him to become more of the radical life-changer he was the first time I encountered him.

Unfortunately, the attempt also brings with it some failures. First, by removing the rich Jewish heritage of the gospel, I've deprived the story of much of its depth. There were times, for instance, when I wanted to elaborate on the hundreds of Old Testament prophecies and symbolism that speak of Christ, but this novel was not the forum for that.

Still, that failure and others only underline the fact that this is merely an appetizer.  For those who haven't yet enjoyed the feast, don't waste time here go to the real banquet. Read the book that most of antiquity and today's scholars still insist is the greatest piece of writing in human history.  If it's been an while since you cracked open a Bible, or if you've never really explored it, start off with the gospel of John. In one sense, it's the easiest, in another, the most profound.

And since I'm in a confessional mood, there's another shortcoming you need to be aware of as you read this novel.  To accurately portray a world in which Christ has not yet come would be to create a society so dark and ugly that it's doubtful any of us would recognize it, let alone relate to it. To do so would have again defeated my purposes. So, I didn't. If you're interested in the impact Jesus Christ has had upon our society, Kennedy and Newcombe's book, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born, gives interesting insights on how different our society would be today if Jesus had not come.

A final note. Scripture makes it clear that the Christ would come as a man born of woman only once. It states that his second coming will not be like his first. The first was the meek servant who washed our feet and died for our failures. According to Scripture, the second time he comes it will be as a conquering King.  In fact, Jesus himself warned that if someone born into our world today claimed to be the Christ (even with accompanying miracles) he would be a counterfeit, the antichrist prophesied long ago. According to Jesus Christ, when he appears the next time it will be from the heavens, accompanied by the glory of God.

 

Sample of the book from the author's website.

 

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