Food for the Soul
9/2/15 at 01:47 PM 0 Comments

New Fiction Novel Inspired by Modern-day Miracle

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Pastor, counselor and author Bruce S. Campbell has penned a new novel that was inspired by a modern-day miracle. The Beginning: Prelude to the Apocalypse (Carpenter’s Son Publishing/STL Distribution) came about after Campbell’s church had begun a season of miraculous healings.

“I was the pastor of a church and we had a woman who was dying of cancer,” says Campbell, who received his Master’s Degree in Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. “The doctors had given her little hope and basically, sent her home to die. We laid hands on her and prayed for a complete recovery. A couple of weeks later, she was told there was an experimental treatment so she went to the hospital for tests. That day her son called me in tears, and I thought she had passed away. What he told me was that the doctors could no longer locate the cancer at all. It was completely gone. This sent shock waves through our church, and we began to see God move in miraculous ways. My associate pastor and I began to talk about how the New Testament was coming alive before us, and we began to discuss biblical characters. We started talking about the two witnesses in Revelation – who they would be, what they would say, will they be just regular guys – and that was the germination of the idea behind the book. What will the two witnesses tell us when they arrive? And are they already here?”

The Beginning is the story of Enoch, taken by God in Genesis, sent back to prepare the world for the second coming. God's Spirit of Wisdom teaches him his mission of revelation. He is given secret mysteries of the Godhead as a sign to the world. Enoch realizes he has a decision to make. Will he accept his mission to reveal to the world God's mysterious ways or reject God's call for his life? If he accepts God's calling, he knows he must testify of the end of the world and prepare for his own death.

Set in New Orleans, The Beginning intersperses Biblical truths with science, true historical events, and mystery, similar to The Harbinger. The book delves into what Campbell describes as the major paradoxes of the bible. Campbell takes on difficult questions that often confuse Christians and are used as arguments against the faith by atheists such as: Is God one or three?; If God made male and female in His image, how is the feminine is reflected in the Godhead?; Why does God allow evil?; Does science disprove the Bible?, Is the Bible full of contradictions?, among other issues. A free, downloadable companion study guide was created to help readers dive deeper into the theological concepts.

“I sent this book to people I know who are theology experts,” says Campbell, “and I asked them to critique anything that they felt was not scripturally-based. They were all in agreement with the book's conclusions.”

In 2009, Campbell and his wife founded The Secret Place, an international ministry that offers pastors and clergy a respite from their pastoral work. They counsel anyone serving in ministerial work, including pastors and/or their wives who need to be refreshed or have fallen into sinful behaviors. According to statistics, over 1500 people leave the ministry every month and Campbell says there is a reason for that.

“People tend to put ministers on a pedestal,” says Campbell. “They put them in glass houses and watch everything they do. The Bible is so real in its approach to men of God. Moses was a murderer, and then was called by God. David was an adulterer and yet a ‘man after God’s own heart.’ When Peter was rebuked by Jesus, Peter didn’t realize that his thoughts and words were directly from Satan. We sometimes don’t realize how frail and susceptible we are to worldly spirits that are not of God. Pastors are no different. They are human beings, and they often get off track. And instead of reacting in love, the church will often say, ‘if you don’t live up to our standard of perfection, we will destroy you.’ But if the church truly wants to reflect grace and love, they will learn to offer compassion to their pastors just as they would anyone else in the congregation.”

Ultimately, Campbell hopes The Beginning novel and study guide will give Christians a better understanding of the inherency of the bible so that they can defend their beliefs in a world that is seemingly rejecting the tenants of the Christian faith.

“One of the great dilemmas of our Christian faith is the inability to explain paradox,” says Campbell. “It is the paradoxes of God that are at the root of all denominations and divisional doctrines. Our view of God is too small, and we place Him into our neat little theological packages. The result is that the world discounts our message as a confusing mess of contradiction. Like Pharisees, we are more concerned about adherence to our doctrines than we are concerned about showing the world the redemption in Christ. We emphasize certain things that appeal to us and neglect other things as unimportant.

"It is my belief that when Christianity becomes more about a lifestyle than doctrines and denominations, we will begin to present a more united front to the world. At the core of our problem is that we do not really believe Scriptures that teach us that with God all things are possible. We want to make the ways of God into an ‘either or’ rather than ‘both and’ realities. We see examples in such doctrines as law and grace. If we embrace grace we don’t think we are under the law. If we believe we must work out our salvation, we reject grace. The truth is that both realities remain true at the same time. Knowledge falls short of the reality of God. The realm of the Spirit is above the realm of knowledge. We must embrace every word that proceeds from God if we are to gain wisdom of His ways.”

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