Monday, June 21, 2010

Joseph Bentz' GOD IN PURSUIT


We're happy to have Joseph Bentz with us today talking about his book, God in Pursuit. To learn more about Joseph and his book, read on!

1. How did this story come to you?
God in Pursuit: The Tipping Points from Doubt to Faith, originally started as a book on Doubt. I wondered, what role does doubt play in the life of a Christian? Should Christians fear it? Should they try to stamp it out? Or are there ways in which doubt plays a role in leading a Christian to deeper understanding?
As I worked on those doubt issues, I began to wonder, what leads people to faith in the first place? Why—and how—do people who are downright hostile to Christianity end up as passionate followers of Jesus Christ? Are there common factors that allow them to make that leap of faith? The factors (or “tipping points”) that allow people to move from disbelief to faith are now the central focus of the book, and I also deal with how those same tipping points operate later in the Christian life as believers work through crises of doubt to reach deeper levels in their walk with God.

2. Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I had already written two books for Beacon Hill Press (When God Takes Too Long: Learning to Thrive During Life’s Delays, and Silent God: Finding Him When You Can’t Hear His Voice), so this book seemed like a natural follow-up. I read dozens of spiritual memoirs of Christians from the last two thousand years, from Augustine to Anne Lamott and everyone in between. I also interviewed lots of people about their own spiritual journeys. It was inspiring to do this research. Even if I had never written a book as a result of it, the research itself made the whole project worth it for me.
What surprised me most is how persistent God is at pursuing even the people who are least receptive to him. It is not safe to give up on anybody. For all we know, they may be right on the brink of a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ, even after years of running from him. God is full of surprises. Anything can happen.

3. Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. My kids sometimes force me to attend WWE wrestling events.
2. I have only had one pet in my whole life, a goldfish.
3. I have broken my collarbone three times—twice falling out of bed and once flying off my daughter’s scooter.

4. What are you working on now and what’s next for you?
I am secretly working on another novel, and I am also under contract for another book for Beacon Hill Press. It is about those times when the veil between us and eternity, between us and the Holy Spirit, between us and the world beyond us, seems thin, and we sense the Holy Spirit in a remarkable way. The extraordinary movements of the Holy Spirit highlight the ways he can also be fully present with us in ordinary moments.

5. Parting Comments?
God in Pursuit is intended not only for individual reading, but also for small group study. A free downloadable study guide is available at the Beacon Hill Press website and also on my personal website.

6. Where can fans find you in the Internet?
My website is http://www.josephbentz.com/ . I am also on Facebook.

11 comments:

  1. I would love to win!
    tiffanyniekro at gmail dot com

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  2. Joe, So good to learn even more about you. You and WWF? How shocking.
    Hope your "secret" fiction work eventually sees the light of day.

    Dawn, Thanks for posting this great interview.

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  3. I love to read and would love to win this book.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  4. Wow, sounds like a winning book. Will also need to read the first two! Please enter me. Thank you.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  5. What a wonderful, enlightening interview! My thanks to both of you. This sounds like a book everyone would benefit from reading. I would love to win a copy and I've just put "When God Takes Too Long: Learning to Thrive During Life’s Delays, and Silent God: Finding Him When You Can’t Hear His Voice" on my reading list.

    Blessings!
    Beverly
    bgrider2@cox.net

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  6. How do you register, just by putting our email? If so, mine is: maxx_24_99 at yahoo dot com.
    I'm assuming we can't write the actual email since Tiffany wrote hers out like that?

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  7. thanks for the chance to read this inspirational book :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  8. It's great to read all your comments. Writing this book increased my own faith as I saw how loving, creative, and surprising God is in his ways of reaching us. One of the favorite concepts I explored is the biblical idea of "kairos," or "loaded time," a period of time separated from all the ordinary moments of life when a person is particularly awake to the presence of the Holy Spirit. That "loaded time" was part of many people's stories of their movement to faith.

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  9. K. Dawn and Joseph,

    thank you for the interview and sharing your time with us.

    This book sounds like a good one. I know I need to get Joseph's book "Silent God: Finding Him When You Can’t Hear His Voice".

    I think it might help me to better deal with my relationship with God at this time. My oldest son, Bradley (22), died in a one car accident on Dec. 6, '09. I am having a real hard time dealing with it. I am having difficulty with hearing the Lord. Not only that but I have times of doubt, fear, anger, and many more "negative" thoughts about God. I pray daily for healing and understanding from Him as well as for Him.

    Sorry this is so long.

    Good luck to all who have entered the giveaway.

    bev in IL

    b(dot) werts (at) sbcglobal(dot) net

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  10. This seems like a very interesting book to read.
    Kaye Whitney
    kayewhitney@bellsouth.net

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  11. Thanks for all your comments, everyone! The winner of the drawing for a copy of God in Pursuit is TIffany Harkleroad. I emailed her to let her know. May God bless you all!
    Joseph Bentz

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