Ten years ago, writer D.K. Maylor found himself wondering what a modern-day interview with Jesus might sound like. Strictly to humor himself, Maylor sat down one afternoon and typed a few lines of dialogue. Little did he realize that his initial musings would evolve into a serious, heavily researched, nine-year labor of love. The result: a 465-page spiritual bombshell entitled Wrestling with Jesus.
Maylor's book has him sitting with Jesus for an all-day conversation by a river in a secluded forest in the southern U.S. -- and the fact-filled, hard-hitting but humorous discourse is apparently striking a chord with readers around the world. At this writing, the 21 readers who have taken time to post reviews at amazon.com have given the book a perfect 5-star average rating. Not bad for an unknown first-time author.
"I had no idea the book would be so well-received so quickly -- especially among Christians. The book, after all, is not kind to various aspects of religion in general or to certain parts of Christianity in particular.” Some of the topics tackled in “Wrestling” include questions such as:
_ Why does the Bible God require the spilling of innocent blood before He can allow Himself to forgive?
_ Why didn't God create everyone perfect, as He supposedly did with Jesus?
_ How can God be loving if He tortures non-believers forever in a place called "hell"?
_ Was Jesus really born of a virgin? Why didn't he (or most of the New Testament writers) ever mention it?
_ Does the Old Testament really predict the birth of a godman? Does it truly foretell of a bodily "resurrection"?
_ Why didn't God place everyone in heaven the moment He created them? Why risk their damnation by first sending them to earth?
_ Why did God create hell long before Jesus' birth? Did He have doubts that Jesus' mission would succeed?
Maylor contends that most religious devotees are never really encouraged to do much thinking about their faith. Instead, he says, they're typically urged to simply believe and do as they're told. "But it makes no sense," he says, "that God would give humans such a high level of intelligence and then dissuade us from applying that intelligence to anything connected with our faith."
Recent surveys show that more and more believers are beginning to question the basic tenets of their religions, and Maylor says "Wrestling with Jesus" seems to be resonating deeply with those who are open-minded enough to read it. “It’s truly shifting perspectives and changing lives.”
But not everyone is ready for the challenge, admits the author. "Like politics, religion is a tough subject to examine objectively because it carries such an emotional charge. And churches have done a pretty effective job of discouraging folks from questioning and doing a little honest investigating. When you read the book, you’ll understand why."
Maylor believes the book’s growing popularity is due partly to the extreme levels of humor in the writing. "I figured that if I could help people laugh at some of the ridiculous assertions put forward by religion over the centuries, it might help them keep turning the page and not feel so threatened or defensive. And I have no doubt that an enlightened being like Jesus would have a terrific sense of humor."
If the reviewers at Amazon are any indication, Maylor's work is hitting home. An author and independent book reviewer from Texas writes: "Maylor and his buddy Jesus have a field day… deconstructing the traditional Christian doctrine of Jesus as the sacrificial scapegoat who saves mankind by appeasing Yahweh's wrath with his crucifixion. And, of course, the analysis makes great sense AND offers a much better interpretation of ‘salvation’... This is a marvelous book."
Wrestling with Jesus is available in both paperback and in Kindle format at Amazon.com (a generous portion can be accessed HERE for free) and more information is also available at WrestlingWithJesus.net, where a special $3 discount code can be found for use in purchasing the book (paperback only) at CreateSpace.com.