American Saints

American Saints

Kobo ebook | March 9, 2014

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It is the United States of the early 21st Century, but it seems to have taken a great leap backward into the 19th. Splashy gospel shows are its most vibrant national industry, the government shapes foreign and domestic policy around Biblical prophesy, science is widely mistrusted—and we are again warned that the End Times are imminent. There is a rising tension between this “Christian Nation” and that “other America”, still wantonly materialist and sexually untamed. Rolf Devron, the high-profile publisher of a slick girlie magazine, is targeted for prosecution by a consortium of powerful religious groups. Superstar evangelist Maureen Aspenwald, taking a more Christ-like approach, assigns herself the mission of converting him. Frayed and vulnerable, as his trial seems to be moving toward a conviction, Devron finds himself yielding to the force of her personality—and perhaps to her message. He may even be falling in love with her. Author and freethinker Neville Titus becomes the front-man in an effort to hold the line against this theocratic movement. He views this clash of pornographer and pentecostals essentially as a national freak show, yet one in which something larger is at stake. He covers the trial in a series of H. L. Mencken-like dispatches. Finally, at one of Maureen’s nationally televised “Events”, Rolf comes out for Jesus. There is some doubt, in certain quarters, about the genuineness of this conversion. Where, asks Titus, is God Himself in all this sound and fury? He publicly, and half-jokingly, challenges Maureen to a modified re-enactment of the epic Biblical Contest on Mt. Carmel (First Kings, 18). It is time, he suggests, for God to stop hiding behind scriptures and priests, and make a personal appearance, as He did so routinely in the days of the law and the prophets. To the alarm of most of the evangelical community, Maureen embraces the challenge. Against all expectations, including Titus's, the Contest goes forward—and becomes an American spectacle, drawing a multitude of curiosity-seekers, rowdies, Jesus-cult outlaw bikers, hucksters, Satanists, true believers, un-believers. The faith of a nation, and the very existence of God, looks to be on the line. Will God step up to that line?
Title:American SaintsFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 9, 2014Publisher:Paul ZieheLanguage:English

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