Thank you for visiting! Exhibited on this page, is my most-recent book: ‘Looking for God within the Kingdom of Religious Confusion.’ In the right column you will notice other posts, which include ‘free’ stories such as; ‘The demons of war are persistent,’ and ‘The greatest of fathers.’ Other blog posts, like those supporting our troops with PTSD, will be added as I complete fresh works. To ensure you will be notified when readers comment, or I add stories, please subscribe to my site/blog. I hope you enjoy the short stories, and my book – should you decide to purchase a copy, which I hope you will.
A ‘Creative Nonfiction’ Story
Eloquently weaving fiction with historical facts, “Looking for God within the Kingdom of Religious Confusion” is a captivating, comparative, and enlightening mystery of one man’s search for the truth about God, Secularism and Spirituality.
“Devastated by his young daughter’s tragic death, Jacob is determined to find God to ask Him why He allowed her tragedy to occur. No longer sure where to find Him, or if God truly exists, Jacob travels through the ‘Ancient Gates of Abraham’ to wander across the contradictory and prejudiced roads within the Kingdom of Religious Confusion. Repeatedly challenged to remain open-minded he engages religious leaders, devout followers, agnostics and atheists along passages as ‘Born again Street’, ‘Fundamentalist Drive’, ’Junction of the Majority’, ‘Path of Disbelief’, and many more, in commonsense conversations to understand why their philosophy alone will lead him to God, or prove God’s non-existence. Yet the further he travels the more confused he becomes, and it is not until his arduous journey nears its end that he recognizes a culminating revelation – insight he was not expecting to unearth.”
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Watching helplessly as his 9-year-old daughter, Jessica, is struck by a car and killed shatters the Roman Catholic faith of the protagonist, Jacob A. Hinsen. Plagued by a need to know that God exists and that Jessica is in a safe place, Jacob loads up his backpack and sets off on a journey to investigate the tenets of the West’s three major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all the while hoping to have a direct encounter with God.
Jacob’s journey takes him down major thoroughfares marked, in turn, “The Road to Christianity,” “The Road to Islam,” and the “Road to Judaism.” As he travels these roads to seek out authorities he can question about each faith, he also takes many of the paths that branch off of the main roads: Roman Catholicism vs. Protestantism (and its many subpaths) vs. Mormonism; Sunni vs. Shi’a Islam, etc.). On each road or path Jacob visits the person other travelers recommend to him as being articulate spokespersons for their faith. He begins by visiting a priest friend he has known for years.
Although the “roads traveled” resemble a mythical quest, Jacob’s conversations as a seeker are never simply academic exercises. He asks probing, insightful questions, listens carefully to the responses, and is quick to point out inconsistencies in his host’s explanations. Neither are the religious authorities Jacob visits wooden characters. They come across as flesh-and-blood human beings, dedicated to their particular faith and patient in their responses to Jacob’s respectful, but sometimes confrontational, line of questioning.
An example of the humanity of the book is when, during Jacob’s talk with his priest friend, a Roman Catholic Cardinal stops to visit the priest and turns out to be the former Catholic school principal who put the fear of God into Jacob years ago when Jacob was in a Catholic school. At another time Jacob is embarrassed to learn that the revered Islamic scholar he inquires about turns out to be the woman he asks to direct him in a library.
Schade’s most remarkable achievement is that the authorities Jacob seeks out and questions, in addition to being extremely knowledgeable and articulate about their beliefs, all come across, with the exception of an extreme fundamentalist here and there, as compassionate, likeable characters Jacob ends up respecting and considering friends after he has grilled them about their beliefs. Indeed, the reader comes away with great respect for the intellectual integrity of even the one atheist Jacob encounters.
This book could only have been written after years of diligent research into the beliefs of the major religions covered (and their offshoots). One could read this book simply as an engaging story, but it is also an excellent summation of what adherents of these faiths believe. Anyone interested in religion will find this book fascinating.
Did Jacob find the assurances he was looking for on his journey? Did he have the direct encounter with God he so desperately sought? You’ll just have to read the book to find out.
John (Author and publisher of the “Daily Graff”)
“…this book is then both a bridge to nonfiction works that discuss religion in greater depth and a map out of the confusion that religions have wrought in the name of God.” — Sankara Saranam: Author/Philosopher
“An engaging, educational journey to find the truth about God and Religion” — Rick Sigel: Author “Retail Marketing for Dummies, and The Essential Online Solution”
“Schade’s eloquent and engaging approach to a highly debatable subject matter compels the reader to become involved in the work.” — Editors Choice Award …
“Schade has combined, so eloquently, the facts of many major global religions and woven them into a tender, inspiring and heartfelt novel.” Catherine Bradford: Host The Wellness Roadshow – Searching for the Whole Being
“Extremely well written, Schade’s prose is priceless, and his subject matter forces each of us to explore beneath the surface of man’s purpose and direction in difficult times.” — Denise M. Clark: Author and Editor
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