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Insights From World of Joseph

World of Joseph:Mentuhotep Vizieer of Egypt

In this blog, I am reporting on some insights from The World of Joseph, my latest novel. Today’s insight takes a look at the different names of Joseph. Let’s begin:

Joseph is the name that is most commonly associated with this man. According to the Biblical account he was a young man who God chose to reveal two particular dreams. These two dreams indicated that Joseph’s brothers and parents would someday bow to him.

This became problematic and led to his being sold as a slave. He was first a slave to Potiphar, a captain of Pharaoh’s Royal Guard (which can be interpreted as General of Pharaoh’s Army). He was a slave for three years and followed that up by ten years in prison for a total of thirteen years. Then, at the age of 30, he became the Vizier of Egypt.

Zaphnaath-paaneah is the Egyptian name given by Pharaoh. It has various interpretations, such as life’, ‘Support of Life’, ‘the god speaks and he lives’, ‘god speaks’, ‘says the god’. The last phrase which says ‘the god speaks, he will live’ seems to capture Pharaoh’s acknowledgement that the wise Joseph had the “Spirit of God” within him (Genesis 41:38).

However, this name is used only once in Scripture.

Mentuhotep is the third name and you don’t find it in Scripture. However, it is found in Egyptian history. There were actually at least two Mentuhoteps and due to the confusion over pharaohs and their dynasties, our Mentuhotep has been referred to as Mentuhotep II. But researchers now know that the Mentuhotep of the 12th dynasty was never a pharaoh, but rather the Grand Vizier or Prime Minister of Egypt. He served under Pharaoh Sesostris I in the 12th dynasty.

More about this on the other side of this break.

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Now back to the article.

So, what can we learn from these names?

First of all, we learn what we already knew: the Bible is reliable. This has been proven over and over again. People point out supposed errors and eventually, sometimes after hundreds of years, the Bible is proven correct. But the Bible doesn’t need to be proved, it is the Word of God no matter what man says or thinks.

The name of Zaphnaath-paaneah gives insight into the mind of Pharaoh. He was deeply impressed by Joseph and believed that Jehovah God of the Jews spoke through him. That belief followed Pharaoh throughout his life. It helps us understand the true power Joseph had. He was not only second to Pharaoh in position, but in his power. Since Pharaoh acknowledged that God spoke through Joseph, he never according to the Bible, overruled Joseph’s decisions.

But it is the name of Mentuhotep that speaks the loudest in the sense that it provides insight into the Egyptian hearts of the people! The cover of my novel shows a headless statue of Mentuhotep. The loss of the head probably speaks of time, erosion, and maybe vandalism, but the statue itself reveals something altogether different.

First of all, it was unheard of to make a statue of anyone other than Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was considered divine. And yet here we have a statue of someone who obviously was not a pharaoh.

Why do I say obviously?

Because Mentuhotep is shown wearing the garb and cradling on his lap the tools of a trade. Not the tools of a government official, but of a scribe. This depiction tells us that Mentuhotep was a scribe, which fits in well with Joseph’s career as a slave where he ran Potiphar’s house, his career in prison where he ran the prison, and his career as Vizier where he ran the whole government’s effort to provide for the coming famine and to distribute food during the famine. This was a man who wielded great influence and power affecting Egypt and other nations, and he did so by using the tools of a scribe. In other words, pen and paper in modern times.

The Egyptian historical records also reveal insight from secular records that agree with Biblical records. Viewed from opposing perspectives, we see a commonality of facts. While the Bible does not need verification, it is nonetheless always a positive reinforcement. And it helps the unbelievers put their trust in the Bible.

I always emphasize research as a tool of an author. The above is just one of the reasons; it expands your knowledge! But another reason is that it expands the book itself. In my case, it provided the subtitle of my book, Mentuhotep Vizier of Egypt. But it also contributed to the story writing itself.

The World of Joseph: Mentuhotep Vizier of Egypt is available on Amazon.com and at T&R Independent Bookstore beginning August 12th. Pre-orders of the eBook will begin August 8th. You will find that this book comes in the following formats: paperback, hardcover, and eBooks. Paperback and hardcover are available at both Amazon and our bookstore, but the eBooks are only available at Amazon.com!

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A Father’s Day Salute

Generally, on Father’s Day we celebrate our fathers, but today I want to provide a Father’s Day Salute to my father and my father-in-law. So, let’s get started.

A Father's Day Salute to my Father.
My Father

Dale Barlow Riddle

There are few written records pertaining to his life, but he made a major impact in mine. I probably didn’t communicate that fact very well to him, but I certainly admit it now. Here are a few facts:

  • He was born in 1912 (or thereabouts).
  • As a teenager he worked for a Goodyear Tire Store.
  • He taught himself how to drive (and never had a ticket).
  • He got saved as a young man (although I have no written proof of that; however, his lifelong interest in spiritual matters was evident).
  • As a young man he became a deacon.
  • As an adult he worked as a sales representative for Ford Tractor and was quite successful.
  • He backslid and married an unsaved woman (my mother, who may have gotten saved on her deathbed as she received a letter God had put on my heart which included the gospel).
  • Although backslidden, he kept us in church until the family left the church.
  • When I was yet a child, we left the Methodist Church.
  • He was very interested in spiritual matters and loved watching Billy Graham Revival Meetings. A little redheaded boy sat next to him.
  • He later worked for Bolens Tractor and then Lawnboy, and was a successful sales representative.
  • When I got saved at the age of 30, his continuous interest in the Bible was part of the reason I was already daily reading the Scriptures before I got saved.
  • My salvation and life may have been a testimony to him.
  • In his last days, he planned on getting back in church. He died of a stroke before he could make good on that plan.
  • It is with joy that I contemplate the possibility that when I get to heaven, I may meet my grandmother (who I led to the Lord), my father, my mother, and my Aunt Delores. I may also have other relatives, both living and dead, that I don’t know about. What a glorious day that will be!

As you may have noticed, it was dad’s continuing interest in the things of God that had a great influence on me as a child. I was yet a child when we dropped out of church as a family and didn’t come in contact with the church until I went to Navy Bootcamp. I don’t remember much about any conversations dad had with me at the time, but I know that when I went to bootcamp I had a little Bible in my hands. So, I imagine I got it from my parents.

Though he was out of the church, he continued to influence my life so that when I became an adult I was ‘religious’. God had a date with me that I wasn’t aware of until May 9, 1973, arrived. Looking back, I think my dad’s interest in church had played a major role in my spiritual life. His influence, the influence of my pastor, and my own interest in the Bible brought me to that date. And God pointed me to the Scriptures which said I was dead in my sins and needed a Savior. On that night I knelt by my bedside (at a Best Western motel) and asked Jesus into my heart.

I am so glad, that I had a father who never lost his faith completely. It is true he ran out of time for getting right and departed this world with few if any rewards. But I believe he is in heaven reunited with his Savior! And that is a great comfort!

More about this on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at markting@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

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Now back to the article.

My dad was not the only man to play a role in my life. My pastor, Dr. Bob Shelton, preached sermons that led to my salvation, but my father-in-law lived the Christian life that influenced me as a young Christian (I was 8 years old in the Lord when I married Teresa). So, I think it is appropriate to talk about him for a few minutes.

Fathere's Day Salute to my Father-in-Law
My Father-in-Law

Carl Woodrow Wheeler

On September 19, 1981, Carl Wheeler became my father-in-law. Like my father, he got saved as a young man.

But Carl Wheeler continued on and grew in the Lord. By the time I met him he had already suffered his own crises of faith but was now a godly, faithful man. He served God in a verity of ways, including working in children’s church, and becoming a deacon.

When I met him, he was retired and a Snowbird spending half his time in Florida. Eventually he and his wife, Evalyne, moved to Florida full time. But whether living in Michigan or Florida, he remained a godly man who loved the Word of God.

I count myself fortunate to have a godly father-in-law and mother-in-law. In my imagination I like to think that my parents and Teresa’s parents have already met up there in heaven.

So, on this Father’s Day I am thankful that God gave me a father who taught me to believe in God and to read the Bible, and a father-in-law who demonstrated how a Christian ought to live. My birth father may not have been perfect, but he was a hero in my eyes and to this day I remember him fondly. Someday, we will be reunited and I look forward to that day!

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Merry Christmas!

The Riddle Report 12 24 2020

Merry Christmas everyone. Today’s news is about the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Date of Christ’s Birth

Most people know that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th. Rather, this was a date set aside by the Catholic Church to counter pagan beliefs and traditions. Some of their traditions eventually became part of the Christmas celebration. But this blog is not about that.

Scholars have long debated the actual date of Jesus’ birth. There are many theories as to the date. The most reliable theories fall between 6 BC and 1 BC. The most reliable source is the Bible.

In the Bible we are referred to Cyrenius, governor of Syria. We now know that he ruled twice; the first began in 4 BC and ended in 1 BC, while the second began in 6 AD. We also know the taxing was the first of Cyrenius (Luke 2:2). And, of course, it was while Caesar Augustus ruled (Luke 2:1). While I make no pretensions of being a Bible scholar these facts suggest that the birth of Christ was somewhere around 4 BC or 3 BC.

Time of Christ’s Birth

While some people try to state the time of day for His birth, I won’t go there. However, as to the time of year, we have facts that point to a particular season.

According to the Bible, it was while the shepherds were “abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night”. That means they were nearby and not in the mountains. It can also be further narrowed down to either Fall or Spring as the time for lambing, the reason for being in the fields, occurred between mid-September and mid-March. Of the two, Fall would seem the most likely, but some believe it was Spring.

There is a belief, based primarily on astrological charts, that Christ was born on September 11, 3 BC. While this certainly places His birth in the Fall, the use of astrological charts would seem inappropriate and unreliable. Just the same the time of year seems relatively correct.

We can say for sure that according to the Bible Jesus Christ was born during the rule of Caesar Augustus and governor Cyrenius’ rule. When you check out the dates the year seems to be either 4 BC or 3 BC.

But That is not the Most Important Fact.

 If God wanted to clear up the matter of the date of Christ’s birth, He would have given us the information we needed right in the Bible. But the birth of Christ has a greater significance than the date.

While we tend to look at the physical scene, there was a spiritual scene taking place that made the birth of Christ of eternal importance! This is the fact that the Living Word of God became flesh for the purpose of dying on the Cross as our Redeemer! (John 1:1-14)

Many years ago, I was in charge of an Easter display at our local mall in Michigan. I asked a friend of mine, who was quite good as an artist, to draw a picture of the Nativity Scene with the shadow of the Cross passing over the manger. And that is how we should picture the Nativity Scene.

Christmas and Easter are eternally connected; without the manger there is no Cross and without the Cross there is no need for a manger!

As my pastor recently preached, John 1:1-14 is the spiritual backdrop to Luke 2:7-12. Christ came into the world to die on the Cross so that you and I might have eternal life! (John 3:16)

How Then Should I Celebrate Christmas?

It is all right to celebrate Christmas with a Christmas tree, a nativity scene, the exchanging of gifts, and singing songs. But it is imperative that we remember that the little Babe in the manger came into the world to save us poor miserable wretches by taking our sins upon Himself, dying in our place on the Cross, and becoming our Saviour!

Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. May you find joy and peace in Jesus!

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Why It’s Wrong for Colleges to Queer the Bible?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week I am taking a look at Why it’s wrong for colleges to Queer the Bible?

There is a movement going on today that is taking over our colleges, a movement that attacks God’s Word. It is called Queering the Bible. In doing research on this issue I came across the arguments for queering the Bible and a site that comes out in direct opposition to this movement. The site is called True freedom Trust and it is for those people who have homosexual leanings but take a stand against it. I will be taking excerpts from their site and using them in this blog. I will also add comments throughout the excerpts which will be enclosed [ ].

I am a Christian totally opposed to homosexual, lesbian, transgender, and any other tag these people use. Before I get to the gist of the blog I want to, in my own words, answer the often given reason for such behavior, namely “I was born this way”.

Isn’t It True that People are Born Gay?

Normally we answer that with an emphatic NO. But let’s take a Biblical view. Back in the Garden of Eden Adam sinned and ever since we have been born with a sin nature. With that in mind the answer could be YES!

What?

Let me explain. When you and I were born we were born with a sin nature. When we get saved we don’t lose that sin nature, it is with us for life. We are given a new nature which is sinless and wants to please God. But in the beginning we have a sin nature.

That means we have the ability and tendency to commit any sin! That includes murdering, lying, gossiping, homosexuality, stealing, lesbianism, bullying, transgendering, voyeurism, drunkenness, cheating, and the list goes on. It is sin and we are all capable of the vilest sin!

What is Queering the Bible?

Let’s define queer first. The term queer is a word that encompasses homosexuality, lesbianism, and transgender.

Queering the Bible means studying the Bible from the homosexual point of view. The article I referred to earlier is actually Queer Theology.

What is Queer Theology?

Queer theology is a theological method that has developed out of the philosophical approach of queer theory, built upon scholars such as Michel Foucault, Gayle Rubin, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Judith Butler. Queer theology begins with an assumption that gender non-conformity and gay and lesbian desire have always been present in human history, including the Bible. It was at one time separated into two separate theologies; gay theology and lesbian theology. Later the two would merge to become the more inclusive term of queer theology. [emphasis is mine.]

  1. Theology done by and for LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex) individuals focusing on their specific needs.
  2. Theology that purposefully opposes social and cultural norms regarding gender and sexuality. It seeks to unearth hidden voices or hidden perspectives that allows theology to be seen in a new light.
  3. Theology that challenges and deconstructs boundaries, particularly with respect to sexual and gender identity.

Queer theology is inclusive to individuals’ sexual and gender identity and allows the LGBTQ community to reclaim their space in Christianity.

How Do They Support This?

Well let’s start with Jesus. According to Wikipedia:

In a paper read at the Conference of Modern Churchmen in 1967 titled “Jesus, the Revelation of God”, Hugh William Montefiore offers a controversial interpretation of the early life of Jesus. Jesus was not aware of his vocation as Messiah until approximately age thirty, Montefiore argues, and this vocation can therefore not explain the celibacy of Jesus.

[My reply to this: Such a belief completely ignores, dismisses, or misunderstands Jesus’ visit to the synagogue when twelve years of age! Not only that, it completely discounts Jesus’ statement to his parents: “And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? Jesus knew Who He was and why He came! Joseph was his step-father, God was His Father; and please note the capital F in ‘Father’s’.]

Montefiore finds the explanation that Jesus was homosexual consistent with his identification with the poor and oppressed:

All the synoptic gospels show Jesus in close relationship with the ‘outsiders’ and the unloved. Publicans and sinners, prostitutes and criminals are among his acquaintances and companions. If Jesus were homosexual in nature (and this is the true explanation of his celibate state) then this would be further evidence of God’s self-identification with those who are unacceptable to the upholders of ‘The Establishment’ and social conventions.

One proponent of queer theology was Marcella Althaus-Reid, who drew on Latin American liberation theology and interpreted the Bible in a way in which she saw as positive towards women, queer people and sex. She proposed a theology that centered marginalized people, including people in poverty and queer people. For Althaus-Reid, theology ought to be connected to the body and lived experience. She put it this way:

Indecent Sexual Theologies […] may be effective as long as they represent the resurrection of the excessive in our contexts, and a passion for organizing the lusty transgressions of theological and political thought. The excessiveness of our hungry lives: our hunger for food, hunger for the touch of other bodies, for love and for God. […] [O]nly in the longing for a world of economic and sexual justice together, and not subordinated to one another, can the encounter with the divine take place. But this is an encounter to be found at the crossroads of desire, when one dares to leave the ideological order of the heterosexual pervasive normative. This is an encounter with indecency and with the indecency of God and Christianity.

One theme in the theology of her The Queer God (Routledge, 2003) is the holiness of the gay club, as she explores the intersection and essential non-contradiction of a strong, vibrant faith life and sexual desire. An example of finding otherness and desire in Biblical texts is her reading of Jeremiah 2:23–25 from the Hebrew:

[…] a young camel deviating from her path: a wild she-ass accustomed to the wilderness, sniffing the wind in her lust. Who can repel her desire? And you said, No! I love strangers, the different, the unknown, the Other, and will follow them.

[My reply to this: This is a very convenient quote particularly when you leave off verse 22. Here’s the KJV version of Jeremiah 2:22 -25.

For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD. How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways; A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her. Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.”

Please note that this entire passage (plus verses preceding it) are directed at one who is clearly not pleasing to God. This passage condemns the gay life not exalts it. The above highlights are mine.]

The remainder of this blog features excerpts from the True freedom Trust (some words may seem odd but that is because it is written from the United Kingdom – I have done some editing.)

Introduction

This article offers a brief critique of the movement known as queer theology, by analyzing two of its main distinctive features. These two distinctive features are firstly the broadness of queer theology and its unity of purpose and secondly, its aim of blurring boundaries in the areas of sex and gender.

Distinctive One – Broadness and Unity

One key distinctive of queer theology is how broad the movement is and yet how an overarching goal unites it. We will define the goal as a ‘…revision of the church’s understanding of the Bible, sexual morality and the meaning of marriage.’

The broadness of queer theology can be seen by contrasting scholars such as Brooten, who acknowledge that the Scriptures condemn same-sex practice but in doing so argue that they should be ‘disregarded,’ with those who are supposedly more ‘evangelical’ in their approach.

An evangelical approach can be seen through the arguments of Vines who seeks to show that the Scriptures do not prohibit all forms of same-sex sexual expression. Instead, Vines asserts that ‘Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm committed, monogamous same-sex relationships.’ The approach of Vines and others is often argued by attempting to show that the explicit references to same-sex practice in the Scriptures should not be taken as applicable to modern, committed same-sex relationships.

Others, like Rudy, would not seek monogamy or commitment as a moral principle for which to strive. Rudy, for example, claims that non-monogamous sex can be viewed as a hospitable, progressive ethic.. .Wilson, on the more liberal wing, talks of ‘bodily hospitality’ where promiscuity is considered a gift, whereas Jeffrey John articulates an approach which talks of same-sex relationships being ‘permanent, faithful and stable.’

 John is seeking what he sees as equal rights for same-sex couples, whereas Wilson is celebrating a more expressive sexuality. One approach wants a seat at the table of societal institutions such as marriage, whereas the other is happy to tip the table over. Both, however, have a minimal aim of encouraging others to see same-sex practice as honorable to God.

Someone who seeks to argue from the Bible for faithful same-sex relationships is James Brownson, who states ‘my… commitment to the centrality of Scripture has not changed’. We can contrast Brownson’s approach with that of Adrian Thatcher. Thatcher makes it plain that his books are ‘always written from a progressive, liberal perspective’ with the aim of helping to make churches ‘more inclusive.’

Thatcher, Brownson, Vines, and Wilson all highlight the broad and varying hermeneutical approaches taken within the sphere of queer theology.

One lamentable strength regarding the broadness of queer theology is that it reaches a wide audience. If for example, queer theology was to exist only in more liberal forms, its blasphemous conclusions would be dismissed out of hand by many Christians and would never pose a challenge to many in our churches. Two examples of this are Boer’s view that God should be understood as a sexual top who engages in sadomasochistic relationships with humans, and Althaus-Reid’s view that the Trinity should be understood as an orgy.

Although still assiduously seeking to twist the scriptures, the more conservative wing of queer theology is much less likely to be dismissed as quickly as scholars like Boer. This wing at least has what it describes as a ‘high view’ of Scripture, and claims to discern the true meaning of the biblical texts. As previously mentioned, however, the common goal of validating same-sex practice within the Church is shared by both ends of this movement.

We have seen that the broadness of queer theology gives it a regrettably broad reach. Both ends of queer theology do, however, have serious flaws, which mitigate against it being considered a useful hermeneutic.

The more conservative wing of queer theology has failed in its attempt to reconcile a high view of Scripture with a consistent hermeneutical approach that highlights how and why the Biblical prohibitions on same-sex practice are no longer applicable. Even if this were achieved, however, it would still be in danger of arguing from silence as there are no positive references to same-sex practice in the Scriptures. It is hard to reconcile arguments from silence with what many deem to be a ‘high view’ of Scripture, although Wilson does argue that biblical narratives such as David and Jonathan affirm an LGBT experience.

[It is rediculous to claim David and Jonathan were gay. These were best friends. Period!]

The work of theologians like Brooten highlights how weak the more evangelical wing of this movement is. Brooten’s work highlights that it is not just exploitative relationships which fall under Paul’s condemnation in Romans 1.

Romans 1… establishes the universal sinfulness of same-sex practice, rather than as merely a culturally limited prohibition.

[This first chapter of Romans displays the weakness of the arguments in behalf of queer theology. Verses 26 and 27 clearly describe female same-sex and male same-sex practices. And it is clearly condemned! Moreover the references to the Creator take us all the way back to Genesis and establishes the universal sinfulness of same-sex practice.]

The information above was on the technical side but it was so good I felt I had to include it with only minor editing.

Conclusion

Queer Theology is simply bankrupt! Try as they might you cannot truly queer the Bible. It is the Word of God and must be taken as a whole. God has consistently condemned the queer life-style. On the other hand He’s never argued against the claim they were born that way. We are all born sinners, capable of the filthiest sins, including same-sex practices. That is why we all must be born again!

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Insights from the World That Was series

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Tuesday’s I try to focus on Insights. This week I am taking another look at Insights from the World That Was series.
A great deal of research goes into writing books. That goes without saying.
But what about books based on the Bible or, for that matter, on history?
The series The World That Was is a fictional story that is based on historical and Biblical facts. I didn’t one day just sit down and dash off a novel. It took tremendous research. This research involved any secular history that related to our beginnings and the Bible.
What does Secular History say?
At first glance secular history is a no-show. But part of the reason for that is that liberal educators have tampered with our history books. Not only with our nation’s history but with world history. So as an author I had to dig.
The history of the Jewish people can be found in the writings of Josephus. It is essentially a secular book thereby subject to error. Even so, it contains a lot of history. Why? Because the early history of our world surrounded a little piece of land we now call Israel. It is also known as Palestine, Canaan land, and other titles.
As you can see that invites you to do much research and you soon find there are conflicting histories. Part of this problem involves the history of Egypt. To be perfectly frank this is highly unreliable. At best you have to guess about the time frames of different rulers.
Egypt is the worst case, but to some degree the problem exists elsewhere. A partial solution comes from comparing known historical people who lived at the same time in different lands. That helps in nailing down the time table. But even that is subject to error. There is a more sure aide, but I’ll visit that later.
Of all the secular writings I have found Josephus a fairly reliable resource that sheds light on people, places, and events. This is very important from an author’s viewpoint.
Why is historical reliability important?
As an author I want readers to feel that the characters and their stories are real. To accomplish this I need them to have confidence in the “facts” of the story. In short, I strive to be accurate when describing the land so that someone who’s been there will readily accept that fact. Now there are exceptions. For example, a description of Mt. Ararat in Noah’s day will differ from a description of Mt. Ararat today. In Noah’s day snow hadn’t been seen before and therefore was a new thing to Noah and the family. Mt. Ararat would have been barren of snow when the Ark landed and for years afterward. But today it is covered in snow and ice. A lot has happened.
So it is important to know about changes in weather conditions?
To some degree, yes. Let me change that to a high degree. I had one man write me with criticisms of the land and of Mt. Ararat in my book. He’d been in the area and said it didn’t look like that at all. He’s probably correct as far as today is concerned, but my story took place over a 1000 years ago. There have been changes.
The Most Reliable Resource
Contrary to the modern liberal crowd, also known as evolutionists, the King James Bible is the most reliable book out there. While it is not a history book, it is totally accurate when it tells of historical peoples, lands, and events.
A classic example of this is found in the Bible’s numerous mentions of the Hittite people. A number of centuries ago cynics “proved” the Bible to be in error. These cynics were the most highly educated of their time. They were the experts you’d turn to regarding history, science, archeology, and more.
They successfully demonstrated that archeology had not turned up any evidence that these Hittites ever existed. This they said proved the Bible was in error in mentioning a people that had never existed and if existed were never a powerful nation.
But time went on and after centuries of denial evidence began surfacing in the early 19th century. The greatest minds of science and archeology were thus proved wrong although that is glossed over. It was of far greater importance to prove the Bible wrong. But the Bible had been right all the time!
We now know that the Bible is without doubt not only the most accurate but is completely accurate as it deals with history and science or any other subject. Man continues to deny it and offers up questions that range from the foolish to the outright manipulation of Scripture.
As an author I have not doubted the reliability of the Scriptures. As a result I discovered the solution to the problem of secular history. Test secular history against the Bible. If secular history is in complete disagreement with the Bible, then bring it into conformity to the Bible. This is particularly helpful when dealing with time frames. It brings unity to the jumbled mass of time frames and enables a writer to better understand what is going on, who is living, who is dominant, and where their chief character lives.
All to often people try to make the Bible conform to the secular. It won’t work. But when you pull secular history into conformity with the Bible it is like a puzzle of a 1000 pieces suddenly falling into their proper place!
What is my Insight?
That when writing a book that is based on history, science, or both you can rely on the Bible. Just remember that so-called “errors” are found in the reader’s mind not in the Bible. In matters of science who is talking. The Bible often relates what someone believes to be true, as with Jacob. It doesn’t comment on whether his “scientific” ideas are true or not, but simply relates the truth of what he believed or what he did.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Bind them continually upon thine heart

“Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.” Prov. 6:21

This verse is referencing the Word of God as the Father’s commandments. Today I want to apply it specifically to authors.

Perhaps because I am an author I am slightly biased. Since we deal with communicating to people, albeit through fiction, I think we need God’s wisdom to a very high degree.

Thousands of books are published every week and tens of thousands every year. All authors are trying to sell their books to the widest audience possible. I am no exception. And we need God’s wisdom if we are to succeed.

I’ve talked before about the principles of God’s Word and I don’t want to be merely repeating myself. So instead of talking about marketing advice seen through the lens of the Bible, I want to talk about God’s wisdom and how it helps us write better.

Every book I’ve written has been bathed in prayer. It is not enough to merely follow principles, whether they are secular or spiritual. Writing is more than that. It involves the plot of the work, the characters involved, and the cohesiveness of the story. For that to happen requires a great deal of skill. But it also demands more.

People talk about inspiration being required. I’ve talked about being inspired, but it goes beyond simply being inspired to write. We need God’s guiding hand as we write every scene and develop every character.

It can be taxing, but when we have God in our corner it makes things much easier. Whether writing Perished, or World of Noah and the Ark, or even the current writing of World of Shem I have needed God’s guidance. I seek God’s guidance. I’m not talking about formal prayer, which I do, but of communicating to God throughout the process.

This involves talking to Him about every scene, indeed every word. I approach my writing in the spirit of open prayer. Sometimes it is unconscious praying and sometimes I actually ask Him directly. I ask questions like,

  • How do I write this scene?
  • Is this scene too suggestive?
  • Is this character believable?

Sometimes I have typed several words or entire sentences and upon further evaluation have erased them. We’ve all done this, but the question is was God involved in the process.

How do I involve God?

That’s not a hard question to answer. If you are a Christian, having received Christ as your Savior and you have been called to write, then you can expect His involvement. He doesn’t call and then abandon.

On the other hand, He doesn’t force His Will upon us. According to Psalm 32:8 He will guide us. That is a two-fold promise. On the one hand, God promises to guide us, but on the other hand we are responsible to listen to Him and obey.

What a great feeling it is when we have written a story and can say that God helped us all along the way! Whatever genre you write in you can count on His help as long as you are doing it His way. And that is a source of a huge sense of confidence and peace.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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And God saw…it was very good

“And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Gen. 1:31

The Book of Genesis is the foundational book of the Bible. It is the only reliable source we have on the creation of the world. God created a world where there was no sin and no death. It was a perfect world.

And within that world He created Adam and Eve. In fact, He created Adam before He created the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:7-8). Within the Garden He created Eve (Woman) from Adam’s side (Gen. 2:21-23). We have an amazing God who created a perfect world with perfect people.

Then of course there came sin. That was man’s contribution.

Fortunately human science is beginning to catch up to the Bible. While it still stubbornly adheres to evolution, it has made discoveries that not only disprove or weaken their theory but also adds information to the Biblical account which we didn’t know.

You may have heard of the supercontinent Pangaea. But did you know they now believe it was the second and last supercontinent and that it was underwater? That’s right. They now believe it was formed during and under the Flood. Further, it is believed it may have lasted only weeks or months.

So what was before Pangaea? Rodinia! Russian for “mother earth” it is believed to be the original supercontinent. Evolutionists don’t believe that, instead they say there were probably previous supercontinents. But there is no evidence supporting such a theory.

Thus, the Garden of Eden was placed within Rodinia. When Rodinia broke up and became Pangaea it then broke into seven continents. It is easy to understand why human skeletons may be found in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, or some island. Scientists like to complicate things (it makes them seem more important), but even a child would understand this fact. The world likes to say that the Bible says the Garden was in Mesopotamia, and then tear it apart noting inconsistencies.

But when you understand geologic history through the lens of the Bible you can see that the similarities of names of pre-Flood and post-Flood geography are likely the result of Noah and his descendants naming things after the world they had known. By the way, we still do that today. We move to a new area, start a town, city or street and name it after something we left behind. It’s human nature.

In writing Perished I blended the Biblical account with the latest scientific findings. Obviously I used the Biblical account as the primary and science as only supplemental. Why? Because the Bible remains the same (in spite of attempts to alter it) while science is constantly changing. Take evolution for example. Compare today’s version with that of a 100 years ago. Vast changes!

As a foundation book to the Bible Genesis provides both a spiritual and practical bedrock for our understanding of the need for salvation and many other doctrines. In fact, the entire Bible rests upon Genesis. That is why atheistic evolutionists attack Genesis. If they could knock it out, it would disrupt the rest of Scripture. But although they have tried countless times, they have always and will always fail.

Unfortunately we will have to wait until the millennium (1000 year rule of Christ) to ever see the world as it was meant to be. In fact, we really won’t see it in pristine beauty until the New Earth.

The novel Perished has consistently received four and five star reviews. One reason is because it sticks closely to the Biblical account. It’s the story behind the story, or “the rest of the story.” It is available in both print and eBook. And it is available through Amazon, Kindle, Smashwords, and other fine sites. If you enjoy the book I invite you to post your review on the site where you purchased it or at least on Amazon. I’d be thrilled to hear from you at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Profiles in Faith Gouverneur Morris

Known as the man who wrote the final draft of the Constitution, Morris was also the man who spoke the most often during the Convention (173 times).

But what is known of his faith?

Actually we don’t know that much in spite of his much speaking. Nonetheless, we can surmise a few facts.

First of all we know that he was a member of the Episcopal Church. While little is known of his activities within the church it is hard to believe that this gifted man simply faded into the background. It is likely that he served within the church and, since he came from wealth, gave substantially to it. This is speculation, but this author feels it is a logical conclusion.

Second we know he was familiar with the Bible. This is based on his speeches and his writings where he often quoted the Bible. This suggests that he spent a fair amount of time in the reading of the Bible, which would not be the habit of a deist.

Third, he believed in the depravity of man which was more in line with Christianity than the Enlightenment. Deists tend to believe in an absentee God rather than a personal God. They also reject the supernatural as seen in the Bible. Morris, as stated above, was very acquainted with the Bible and was apt to quote it.

Fourth, while some claim he was a deistic realist, the evidence seems to be more correctly that he was influenced by this thinking.

Fifth, he strongly favored freedom of religion.

Sixth, he was against slavery.

The truth is we simply don’t have enough information to say whether Morris was a Christian or not. However, his career reflected not only a highly education mind (attended King’s College, later known as Columbia), but a mind attuned to Christian thought.

So where do we place him?

In my opinion he would be considered within the Christian faith. Probably a weak Christian (theologically speaking) with ties to both Christian and Enlightened thought. He was also a close friend of George Washington whom we will profile next.

A comment on historians who point to Deism as the religion of our founders. First, this time period coincided with the Enlightment, so historians seem to think this impacted everyone. Second, modern day historians may have a bias against Christianity. Yet the founding documents of this nation (Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution) all indicate a Christian belief. I think the burden of proof must lay with those who claim deistic beliefs of our fathers and we should assume Christian beliefs unless proven otherwise.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Being Wise

A wise man will hear, and increase in learning…”

In Proverbs 1:5 we are told to be wise, to increase in learning and be a man of understanding. We have all probably heard sermons on this, but this blog is aimed at authors so what does this mean for the Christian author?

Actually this verse is related to Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…” Taking these two verses together and applying them to us as Christian authors is a very impactful action.

The very first thing that must be done to gain wisdom is to worship God. More specifically we need to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ which occurs when we invite Him to save us. This is what we call being Born Again. This term is misused today to mean something like a fresh start. But it actually means a new relationship, of becoming a child of God (which only occurs when we are saved not when born in the flesh).

But what does wisdom mean to me as a writer?

I have stated this previously but it is worth restating. There is plenty of advice on and off the internet about writing, publishing, and marketing your books. The question is not do I listen but how do I discern good and bad advice. The answer is the Bible. God has laid out principles for us to follow. A wise writer takes those principles and used them as a filter for understanding and applying the wisdom.

Not only should a Christian writer use a biblically sound filter, but they need to apply the wisdom gained. So what are some of these principles?

Principles:

  1. Romans 11:29 : “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” We usually apply this to spiritual gifts, but God also gave us other gifts which we are expected to use. The ability to write is a gift. Has He given you that ability? If yes, then use it.
  2. Joshua 1:8: “…meditate therein day and night...” Whether your book is based on the Bible or not keep your focus on the Scriptures. He has promised to bless you!
  3. I Thess. 5:17: “Pray without ceasing.” Pray about your writing, publishing, and marketing.
  4. Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart…” Trust Him, He knows what is best and will provide.
  5. Proverbs 12:24 : “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule.” Be diligent in your writing, apply yourself. You may say your story wrote itself, but it still requires you to do the typing, editing, proofing, etc.
  6. Colossians 3:23: ‘…do it heartily, as to the Lord…” Put your heart into it, be proactive.

These are but a few principles. They are like nuggets of gold. The Bible is full of principles, so search for them and apply them. I believe that if you base your career upon the sure Word of God that God will bless you.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Creation of Man and Our Responsibility

“And God said, Let us make man in our image…”

Because we Christians say that the creation of mankind was God’s highest creative act we are accused of pride. But that is not so. God demonstrated throughout the Bible that mankind is considered higher than any animal. We are simply stating a fact.

When God created us He did so in His image. What does that mean to us as writers?

First of all it means we have three parts: body, mind, and soul. The soul is that part of us that communicates with God. When we die our body and mind is corrupted; that is, they return to dust. But our soul is separated. If we are born again then when we die we are absent from the body and present with the Lord. If not, we are absent from the body and in Hades (similar to but distinct from hell).

Secondly, it means we are responsible to Him for our eternal state. God created us with a inborn desire for Him. Some have said we were created with a hole inside that only God can fill. He gave us life, therefore we owe Him all that we are. We not only owe Him, but we need Him. Because we are born in sin we are estranged from him. We need to ask Him to save us (Romans 10:9-13). Don’t ask and you won’t be saved.

Thirdly, we are responsible to Him for any skills He gave us. If we don’t have Christ then the talents we were born with never bear fruit for Him. But if we are saved, then we are responsible for the talents given through our DNA and the gifts we are given at our second birth (salvation).

Fourth, if we are saved then God has a plan for us. (Actually He has a plan for everyone, but the first step is always salvation.) His plan for you is probably different from His plan for me. Sure we may both be authors but even what we write may be different. So we are responsible to discover His plan and boldly act on it.

That fourth item is particularly hard. I am not a Type A personality so boldness doesn’t come that easily. But I have discovered that knowledge and skill by themselves won’t get it done. I need to involve God in my work. When writing, I need His guidance. Would He approve of what I’ve written?

In other words, is God in it? Not only the writing, but the publishing and marketing. For example, there is all sorts of advice about marketing but the question is does it meet God’s standards? Will it pass through the Bible filter?

I’m not advocating that you ignore or ditch all advice, but you need a firm grasp of the Scriptures and they should be absolute. Yes, I know that today people say there are no absolutes but for a Bible believing Christian the Word of God is absolute!

Fifth and last is we are responsible to glorify God: “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Cor. 6:20) This should be our chief aim in life to glorify Christ. It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher, a farmer, a street cleaner, a pilot, a politician, a minister, a writer, or anything else, you are to glorify Christ! When you think of it that way, it really impacts you. Can you really say that everything you do or say glorifies Christ? You probably can’t, but that should be your goal. And I believe that if you pursue that goal God will honor you and He will work out His plan through you. Just be prepared that His plan may slightly differ from your plan.

When I wrote Perished I was of course basing the entire book on the first six chapters of Genesis. But the novel sprang out of my devotions. Did that guarantee it was of God? No, but it certainly focused my attention on keeping the novel true to the Bible. I often say the book tells the rest of the story. I filled in the back story that thus brought to life the Biblical story itself. Throughout the writing I did a lot of research within the Bible to make sure that I didn’t violate Scripture in any fashion. Did I glorify Christ? I hope so. But that’s up to individual readers and ultimately up to God.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.