Imagine sitting in the movie theater and awaiting the most epic story ever told, the one God wrote, the one you're part of even as you're about to watch...
As a professor of Christian philosophy and a creative author, God has called me to write an ambitious book (with an eye to adapting it into a screenplay) and have it done by the end of 2019, which will take all of my
time and resources. I need your help to pull this off!
War In Heaven
The book I need
to finish this year is called War In Heaven. It is the first volume of a
historically based saga called The Knowledge of Good and Evil: The Story of Everything.
While I’m a fan of that “galaxy far, far away,” this saga focuses on our own real
galaxy and the actual cosmic battle between good and evil as laid out in the most
epic story of all: the one God has told in Scripture and continues to tell in
history and our daily lives.
In the saga, the main
character (the reader) is asked by the angel Gabriel to write a historical
diary for Eve, since she ate the forbidden fruit and desired to know everything,
especially the welfare of her children in the distant future. To accomplish
this task, the reader is transported back to the beginning of time, with the help of a special transforming watch, by an angelic figure
named Sophia who serves as a guide.
This first volume
focuses on the creation of the heavenly court at the beginning of time; the
creation of the physical world in the big bang and its evolution (the traditional seven-day story of creation is also told using the spectacular imagery of Ancient Near Eastern cosmology); the fall of Satan and his angels and their war against the archangel Michael and his angels; the common
origin and equal dignity of all humans (as an antidote to the tribalism of our
times); the fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden; and God's purpose in creating the world and his promise of future redemption. It concludes with Gabriel hiding the first volume in the Cave of Treasures, which only Eve has the key to.
As my main
sources, I am using (1) Holy Scripture, (2) the latest scientific and
historical data, (3) the vast body of ancient Judeo-Christian apocryphal literature with its awe-inspiring imagery and themes, (4) two thousand years of theology on the
angels and demons, (5) the fruits of contemplative prayer, (6) my own
outrageous imagination, and (7) Aristotelian and Thomistic metaphysics, all of which
allow me to reintroduce to the modern consciousness the deep first principles
underlying our notions of being, truth, goodness, and beauty in an entertaining
and artistically enduring work.
which used to called the philosophia perennis, are at the foundation of
modern civilization, but they have been eroded and undermined, even forgotten
entirely. People today are starving for meaning, transcendence, and valor
beyond the trite platitudes found in superhero movies. Young people need a way
to navigate a world that tells them science and religion are in conflict, and
they yearn for a heroic calling. Most of all, people of all ages are thirsting
for the water of eternal life, for God himself.
Therefore, this book is also a response of faith to the recent trend in education called "Big History," spearheaded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others. This trend of presenting a summary of knowledge chronologically, while an encouraging educational reform, is thoroughly secular. It leaves God and the spiritual realm out of consideration and replaces God as the origin and end of all things with mere evolution of ever more complex networks, with mankind as nothing more than an accident of chance to ultimately be dissolved by a dead, decaying universe. And its aim is mainly liberal political indoctrination. My book will instead be "Cosmic History," a factual history that also draws on the power of symbolic storytelling to lift our minds to a much vaster universe, one that includes God, angels, demons, heaven and hell and purgatory, and a deeply meaningful purpose behind it all in which justice and mercy have the final say over human history. Thus, the book is a direct response to the recent call of the Vatican document Veritatis Gaudium (the joy of truth) that we participate in work through which "the human being can come to a unified and organic vision of knowledge. This is one of the tasks which Christian thought will have to take up through the next millennium of the Christian era."
[The above original content is protected by US copyright law 17 U.S.C. sec. 102]
Who am I, and why
am I qualified for this task? I’m an adjunct professor
of philosophy at George Fox University who is devoting this year to full-time
writing of this project. I studied philosophy at Wheaton College and religion
and film at Duke University. I have published a book called The Week That
Changed the World, a day-by-day account of Holy Week using all four
gospels. I contributed chapter seven to an anthology of essays called Quentin
Tarantino and Philosophy, where I wrote about the ethics of revenge and
forgiveness. I have also spent nearly ten years in the science industry editing
manuscripts by researchers from around the world on everything from astronomy
to geology to economics. I also guest lectured on Dante’s Divine Comedy
at Fordham University (in fact, Dante’s imaginary journey through the heavens and
the earth but with a factual historical foundation is a major inspiration).
Biblically based work make it in Hollywood? Yes, it can. I
know this from my studies in the history of religion and film. But it can only
happen if it’s a work of art that can stand the test of time and not a slick
piece of propaganda. The message has to be incarnated in flesh and blood, not
manufactured. It has to be
inspired, and the beauty of God’s story of redemption and the light of Lady Wisdom
are more than enough inspiration to guide a compelling work of entertainment
that touches the heart and enlightens the mind without being sentimental, dull, preachy,
or contrived. The recent blockbuster success of the Narnia films is an example.
Darren Aronofsky’s Noah is an example of the kind of visually
spectacular Biblical film that was successful, although he came at the subject matter from a
secular angle. Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which told the central story of God's work in history, was an even greater success. Even the Star Wars films are an example of saga-style
storytelling that inspires virtue by employing a religious theme (the Jedi
religion of the Force).
Why do I need
your help? The research,
writing, daydreaming, and contemplative prayer involved in this ambitious
endeavor are so overwhelming that it has to be a full-time job in order to get
it done by December 31, 2019. In addition to the work, I need to travel to
interview experts in various fields and to find collaborators in the
entertainment industry. I will not be teaching this year, so I have no income.
My situation is impossible, and yet God has asked me to walk forward into the
chasm without a bridge. I need you to build that bridge in front of me as I
What is the
ultimate goal of the project? The goal is for
you and I to participate in God’s ultimate work…which is that as many people as
possible have as much of God as possible, both in this life and the next. “O
Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup; it is you yourself who are my
prize” (Psalm 16:5). “They will look upon His face, and His name will be on
their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4). “Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9).
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