Friday, October 15, 2010

The God Hater; More Than Words

The God Hater

By Bill Myers

"When one of the most creative minds I know gets the best idea he's ever had and turns it into a novel, it's fasten-your-seat-belt time. This one will be talked about for a long time." Jerry B. Jenkins, author of Left Behind:

About the book

A cranky, atheist philosophy professor loves to shred incoming freshmen of their

faith. He is chosen by a group of scientists to create a philosophy for a computer

generated world exactly like ours.

Much to his frustration every model introduced from Darwinism, to Existentialism, to Eastern beliefs fails. The only way to preserve the computer world is to introduce laws from outside their system through a Law Giver. Of course this goes against everything he believes and he hates it. But even that doesn't completely work because the citizens of that world become legalists and completely miss the spirit behind the Law.

The only way to save them is to create a computer character like himself to personally explain it. He does. So now there are two of him -- the one in our world and the one in the computer world...(sound familiar?).

Unfortunately, a rival has introduced a virus into the computer world. Things

grow worse until the professor in our computer world sees the only way to save his world is to personally absorb the virus and the penalty for breaking the Law. Of course it's clear to all, including our real world professor, that this act of selfless love has become a complete reenactment of the Gospel. It is the only possible choice to save the computer world and, as he finally understands, our own.


In this section, Nicholas has downloaded his personality into his computer double who is healing members of the community by transferring their suffering into himself. This infuriates those watching from the lab because of the extra computer power necessary to keep him alive. The `life units' spoken of are a type of food. And Nyrah is Alpha's estranged daughter who has broken his heart by joining the Law Breakers as a prostitute.


Travis and Nicholas stared at the screen in astonishment. Once again Travis had pushed the program, fast-forwarding it. This time it was to find the next encounter between Alpha and Nicholas's double. Up on the monitor a large crowd had gathered. As planned, the digital Nicholas was reducing all of his philosophical knowledge into small digestible pieces so the people could better understand. But it wasn't the teaching that made both Travis's and Nicholas's jaws drop.

Travis could barely get out the words. "What . . . has he done?"

Nicholas pushed up his glasses and stepped closer to the screen. "With that boy you gave him the ability to transfer power."

"Yeah, but not this. It was supposed to be a onetime thing. Not this . . ."

The air was crisp but not cold. With no breeze, the winter sun slowly soaked into Alpha's body. It had been his idea to come. He could not forget the tugging he felt inside when the stranger spoke. Nor could he ignore the reports of the man's deep and somewhat troubling teachings. Finally, there were the healings. All reasons enough to leave the Temple to see and hear for himself.

Of course, Orib would not let him go without an entourage of Council Members. And, of course, they had to sit on an outcropping of rock to the left and above the proceedings so citizens and Breakers alike would know of their presence.

They had barely settled themselves before he saw Nyrah. He was certain she'd also seen him. Yet, sitting less than seventy lengths apart, both father and daughter pretended to ignore the other's presence. A task that, at least for Alpha, was nearly impossible.

"Look at them," Orib said scornfully. "They cling to every word, in spite of his gross deformities."

His son was right. The stranger was grotesque. Besides a monstrous face, which he supposedly acquired by healing a small boy, he had a gnarled left hand, a hunched back, and his right leg had shriveled into a stump. And, as late as this morning, it was reported he'd lost his sight to a man who had been blind.

Still the crowd grew.

Although some came for the novelty, Learis and other Members insisted it was his clever spinning of words and perverting of the Law. Perhaps. But as the stranger spoke, Alpha felt something much more.

"If you are poor in understanding Programmer's thoughts"— the man took a wheezing gasp—"then you are open to receive them."

His ragged breathing made it painful to listen. And his twisted mouth made him difficult to understand. Nevertheless, there was something about his words that was captivating.

"But if you think . . . you are rich in knowing our ways, then you are poor."

There it was again, the not-so-subtle claim that the stranger and Programmer were somehow related. Alpha closed his eyes against the blasphemy.

"If you are humble"—he gasped another breath—"you will inherit life as we designed it."

"If we're humble," someone shouted from the back, "we'll be destroyed."

Others agreed.

"No!" The stranger's shout sent him into a fit of coughing. The crowd grew silent, waiting. At last he continued. "You've lived upside down for so long, you don't know the difference."

Alpha leaned forward, listening intently.

"If you want to be a leader, you must serve. If you want wealth—" He coughed, then continued, "Give away false riches so your heart has room for real treasures."

Alpha caught himself quietly nodding. Amid the heresy there were great truths.

"If you're hungry for good, we will feed you."

"How?" a young mother cried from the center of the crowd.

The stranger turned to her voice. "By offering you real food."

"You offer nothing but words," a Breaker yelled.

"He's right!" another shouted. "If you really had something to offer, you'd give life units—not your fancy ideas."

Others in the crowd murmured in agreement.

"Good." Orib turned to his companions. "Someone has finally challenged him."

They nodded, but Alpha watched, not entirely convinced.

The stranger turned to Nyrah and those closest to him. It was impossible to hear what he said, but it was obvious his inner circle of followers were confused. Finally one of the Breakers stepped forward and stretched out his robe. The stranger motioned for another to pour the contents of a small basket into the robe. As he did, a dozen life units tumbled out.

The crowd buzzed in surprise. They reacted more loudly when the Breaker turned and began distributing the units to them.

Meanwhile, another Breaker stretched out his robe. The same follower tilted the same basket and another pile of units poured out.

Orib rose to his feet as the second Breaker turned to the people and began distributing the life units. The crowd grew louder as a third Breaker received his supply of units. And a fourth, his. And a fifth. All from the same basket and all being distributed to the people.

"This is not possible." Orib turned to his fellow Members.

"He's a trickster! An illusionist!"

But it was a different illusion that caught Alpha's attention. With every basket the stranger ordered to be poured out, he seemed to be getting a little weaker.

"He's transferring energy again?" Travis shouted. "Into life units now! When's this going to stop?"

Nicholas stared up at the screen. "I . . . don't know."

"What do you mean, you don't know? That's you up there!"

"Not anymore."

"Yes, it is. Down to the tiniest synapse!"

Nicholas shook his head. "He's different. Something's happening."

"To you?"

"To him. He's changing."

"He won't be winning any beauty pageants, if that's what you mean."

Nicholas looked back to the screen as the people hungrily received the life units—some in greed, others in gratitude, a few even with tears.

"We've got to stop this," Travis said, "or he'll die. He's got nothing left to give."

"There's no way to transfer additional energy into him?"

"Computational powers are maxed out. And there's no place left I can steal them from. I'll have to go inside the program itself. Redistribute from there."

"That's possible?"

"Sure. It won't be pretty, but it's possible. And once he's restored, we gotta have another talk. Make it clear to him. No more miracle-man stuff—no way, nohow."

Nicholas nodded and turned back to the screen, hoping they weren't too late. Hoping it was still possible to reach him.

All rights reserved. The God Hater can be found wherever books are sold.

More Than Words

by Judith Miller

April 1885

Homestead Village

Amana Colonies, Iowa

More Than Words is the second book in Miller's Daughters of Amana series. Steeped in period details that only a seasoned historical novelist can provide, this heartwarming story will meet the expectations of her fans as well as please critics new to the "bonnet" subgenre.Extensive research backs every page of this meticulous, well-crafted work." ForeWord Magazine

About the book:

Gretchen Kohler can't help but dream of life beyond the Amana villages. She enjoys creative writing and believes she has a talent, but artistic pursuits are frowned upon in the community. Gretchen confines her stories and poems to her journals, permitting only close friends to read them. But when a young reporter comes to the general store where she works, she believes she's found a kindred spirit. Is he truly a man she can trust or will Gretchen lose her job, her reputation, and the love of her childhood beau all because of one unfortunate decision?

Chapter 1

"Come down from that tree, Oma!" I'd done my best to sound firm. Taking a sideways step, I shaded my eyes to gain a better view among the bloom-laden branches of the apple trees.

My grandmother peered down at me with a devilish grin, her leather-clad feet wedged into a crook of the tree. "Nein, Gretchen! I'm going to get an apple." She pointed a gnarled finger toward a spindly branch bearing a few spring blossoms.

"Don't go any further, Oma. There aren't any apples, and that branch won't hold you."

Ignoring me, she grabbed another limb and hiked her right leg toward a scrawny branch that would surely crack under her weight. The old woman's addled brain might be willing to make the climb, but her aged and fragile body was going to end up on the ground.

After steadying the ladder that Oma had placed against the tree trunk, I lifted my skirt and stepped onto the bottom rung. "Just wait until Stefan gets home!" I issued the muttered warning from between clenched teeth and cautiously began my climb. No matter how often I scolded my brother, Stefan never put anything away. He'd used the ladder to retrieve a ball from the roof yesterday afternoon, and instead of putting it back into the shed, he'd left it sitting outdoors. Out where it created an alluring diversion for Oma, who had somehow managed to drag it across the yard and balance it against the apple tree.

A low-hanging branch snagged my finely knit black cap, and Oma chuckled as she watched my attempts to disentangle the head covering. After finally grabbing the cap and giving it a one-handed shove onto my head, I glanced upward but quickly averted my eyes. "Oma! Put your leg down. I can see your undergarments."

She leaned forward and peeked down, as if she intended to check the truth of my statement. Her body listed sideways, and one foot slipped from the branch. A snowstorm of flowering blossoms showered down on me.

"Hold on, Oma! I'm coming up to help you."

"Don't bring the blackbird," she shrieked. "It will eat the apples."

My frustration mounted as Oma continued the childlike behavior. For all of my life, my mother's mother had lived with us, and we shared a special bond. But when these bouts of dementia took hold, there was no dealing with her. "There are no blackbirds and there are no apples, Oma." I took another step up the ladder and reached for a thick branch. The rough bark dug into my palm as I tightened my hold. If I inched a little closer, I could grab hold of her leg.

"Go away! You're bringing the blackbird with you."

She climbed higher into the tree, and I gasped in fear. Now I couldn't even reach her foot. "There are no birds in the tree, Oma. I've frightened them all away. Come back down to me."

She peered over her shoulder. A flash of terror shone in her dark eyes. Her once-gentle lips twisted in a menacing jagged line. The look would have held a stranger at bay, but I wasn't a stranger, and I wouldn't be deterred.

"There's a blackbird on your head," she cried. "Get it away! Shoo it off before it eats my apples."

Utter defeat shot through me. Would I ever learn to deal with Oma's episodes? If I didn't get her out of the tree within the next few minutes, my father might discover the dilemma. That thought alone propelled me back into action. I yanked the hat from my head. "The blackbird flew away. See, Oma? Look at me!"

Lips curved in a toothy grin, she leaned forward, peered around my shoulder, and cooed, "Pretty boy, come and get me."

"Oma! Please come . . ." I lifted my foot to mount the next rung but was stopped short when two strong hands encircled my waist. I grabbed hold of the ladder and glanced over my shoulder. "Conrad." I exhaled my friend's name along with a silent hallelujah.

"Come down, Gretchen. I'll get her." His hands remained clasped around my waist while I descended to the ground. With one sympathetic gaze, I was enveloped in comfort. He touched a finger to my trembling lips, and warmth spiraled up my spine. "You should have come for me when you first discovered her."

"I know, but I thought she'd listen to me."

He tilted his head toward the ladder. "Did she drag this from the shed by herself?"

"Stefan," I said.

He nodded his understanding. "He's a boy. In a few years he will begin to remember what you tell him."

I thought it would take more than a few years before Stefan remembered anything other than how to have fun, but I didn't say so. "I don't know who creates more problems, Oma or Stefan. Neither one of them will listen to me."

With a chuckle he mounted the ladder and waved to my grandmother. "I've come to rescue you, Sister Helga. Let me help you out of the tree."

I stood below and prayed this wouldn't take long. For a brief moment Oma eyed Conrad with curious suspicion—a strange occurrence, for she usually fancied him her beau when in a delusional state of mind. I immediately feared the worst.

Finally she pointed to a far branch. "First an apple I must pick."

Conrad wagged his finger and shook his head. "Nein. It is too early in the year for apples, Sister Helga, but I promise I will pick you a large red apple come September."

"Ja?" She gave him a toothy grin that creased her aged skin into a thousand wrinkles. "Then I will come down to you, pretty boy."

Please visit Judy at her website at where you can sign-up for her newsletter and discover more information about her writing life.

More Than Words is available at bookstores everywhere and may also be purchased at;; and; and at your local Christian bookstore.

Copyright © 2010 by Judith Miller

ISBN 978-0-7642-0643-6

Bethany House Publishers
All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


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