“Looking for God within the Kingdom of Religious Confusion”
A layman’s odyssey every Atheist, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Agnostic or Spiritual seeker should ponder!
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 common sense 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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MY VETTED BOOK REVIEW ON AUTHOR ARTHUR W. SCHADE. 11/9/14
Looking for God within the Kingdom of Religious Confusion
A layman’s odyssey for Atheist, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Agnostic, Any Religion, or Spiritual seekers.
By AW SCHADE
Metaphysical Fiction – Length: 218 pages paperback
About the Author:
Author/Publisher/Business Strategist-Consultant, Arthur W. Schade, currently resides in Central Florida. Raised in rural New York state and a former Viet Nam era Marine, Schade has much to say, specializing in PTSD veterans and currently serving military individuals and their families. His passion is writing and sharing his wisdom gained via social media and authorship.
Looking For God… is the story of one man’s search to find God written in a manner for easy reading for any age.
Jacob Hinsen, a 58-yr. old ex-combat Vietnam era American father is the main character in this fictional novel. Jacob is the iconic ‘Everyman’ figure able for most readers to identify with, especially if they have ever attempted to take the spiritual journey work of discovering why and what they believe is God. The serious questioning quest is triggered by the senseless death of his young daughter Jessica, struck and killed by a teen driver distracted by her cell phone conversation while driving.
Chapter One: Reader meets main character Jacob Hinsen and his daughter Jessica at her funeral and we find out the agony of why she died as well as why and how it affected her father.
Chapter Two: Reader is now six months later viewing what has happened to Jacob and his struggles to make sense of the seemingly senselessness of Jessica’s death if there was a loving God. This is where the reader enters the travels of discovery on the quest to find the ‘Truth’ on The Road of Religious Confusion.
Chapter Three: We take the Path of Christianity and first choose the Road of Roman Catholicism, because that was the most familiar path for Jacob being raised as a Catholic. Then we sample all the various forms of Christian denominations. This is the longest chapter in the novel.
Chapter Four: The Path of Confrontation with Doubt appears are on the way to The Road of Islam. We are all confused and discouraged as at first we don’t understand we’ve taken a side road where Atheists and Agnostics dwell. The seeds of doubt are planted as this path illuminates the possibility that Jacob is searching for the wrong thing to begin with. And confuses the quest for finding an empirical God with Jacob’s belief he is trying to prove there is no God, thus justifying his daughter’s death.
Chapter Five: The Road of Islam is next and traces the roots and sects of the Islam faith in Mohammad being the final human to speak with God, handing down the only actual one perfect unaltered translation from God to Mohammad.
Chapter Six The Road of Judaism is the final path in this quest and the last hope of Jacob Hinsen’s desire to find the Truth of God’s existence. It begins long before Christianity or Islamic beliefs. It starts with the ancient nomad tribal leader Abraham of the Tribes of Judah.
Chapter Seven: Jacob Hinsen’s Judgments is the final chapter of this novel, which takes us to the combined decisions of Jacob of the metaphorical quest with the actual Jacob Hinsen in real time back in his home.
1. WHAT DID YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT THIS NOVEL?
What I liked most about this novel was Schade’s ability to avoid using the varied religious, spiritual, metaphysical (meaning combo of science+spirit+consciousness), non religion buss words, vocabulary, or sect ‘secret’ languages throughout this story. He remained true to his character. I liked the fact that once Schade decided to use the metaphor of his journey as being The Road of Religious Confusion…he stuck to it! Mixing metaphors, in my opinion is epidemic in both seasoned and first time authors. Mixing metaphors can prove confusing to the reader. I loved and was also fascinated to discover not one grammar, typo, sentence structure, tense confusion, or research related error in this novel. As an avid reader, Indie review book Vetter, and author…I’ve never seen this before.
The audio book inclusion found on the Amazon.com page was wonderful and I’d wished I’d have known about it prior to my reading of the book, or perhaps augmenting while I read it.
2. WHAT DID YOU LIKE LEAST ABOUT THIS NOVEL?
By far what I liked least about this novel was Schade’s decision to allow Sankara Saranam ” Award winning Author/Philosopher – The Pranayama Institute” 3 pages of comments as his Foreword. As a reader first and a Reviewer secondly, it seemed far more like puffing ego for acknowledgement of himself rather than a couple paragraph introduction to prepare the reader for what they might experience in the novel. In my opinion, searching through the blather I found what could have served the purpose:
“Art’s rare gift to his reader is not one of theoretical conjecture: it is his sincerity to simplify the chaos plaguing the kingdom of religion. In this work of creative nonfiction, (using) ” the patronage of the three monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam…” (Author Schade used) the simple but real truths that philosophers spend years contemplating are humbly presented through the journey of his character’s quest to find God…” Done deal in two rather long sentences. As a way of clarifying my meaning, I’m including instructions from an authoritative source What’s the Difference Between a Foreword, Preface, and Introduction? by Donald Bastian. Foreword ” An opening statement by an eminent and well-published author gives them added credibility in pitching the book to bookstores. Forewords help the author by putting a stamp of approval on their work.” .
Accompanying this train of thought, I missed seeing a Preface, and an Introduction to prepare me for what I was about to read. Finally, and perhaps trivial to the layperson reading of this novel…it might have included more information as to WHO the world famous denominational religious experts Jacob talked to were, in layman terms. I will add the caveat that my own belief system swings into the metaphysics realms and even though I too followed the same quest as Jacob in years past…I didn’t know who most of the experts were.
If I were Syskle or Ebert back in the day, I’d give this book 5-thumbs up and a 5 star review. I strongly recommend this novel for all age readers ready for an easy-read, intelligent, down to earth beginning… down their own questionings and doubts about God and whether they believe or don’t believe in his existence. It has all the elements of what makes a good story a good story. In essence, Arthur W. Schade is an author to follow to see what else comes out of his creative and well-executed mind’s eyes.
A MASTERFUL ACHIEVEMENT
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 A. Robinson (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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