A Table for Three

Thomas, Eldon

Published by Lyndell Publishing, 2003
ISBN 10: 0974100404 / ISBN 13: 9780974100401
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Copy has very slight rubbing, inscribed by the author inside front cover. A compelling look at how Paul of Tarsus allegedly changed Christianity from the way Jesus taught it and the way Muhammad must have viewed it. A fascinating book with an intriguing premise. After a series of tragedies, a high school senior falls into inconsolable, suicidal despair - then one amazing night, in the course of her dreaming, she meets two unlikely friends. Her life will never be the same after sitting down to A Table For Three. v/206pp. Desirable!. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Something hasn’t been right for years with her conservative Christian upbringing but there is nothing she can pinpoint. Rather than a laborious and intricate non-fictional thesis, a story like no other comes to life in these pages.

It’s the spring of 2001. Eleanor Thomas is 17 and finishing her junior year at North High. She is trying to stay in the mainstream of activity but without realizing it, she is going through a mental metamorphosis.

Raised a conservative Christian and taught that the Bible was meant to be read in a literal sense, several things do not ring true, and for the past year she has watched occasional television documentaries on early Christianity. They seem to gradually fill in pieces of a huge puzzle.

She is spending less time with MTV and starting to pay attention to national and world news. It seems that politics and religion are each becoming more polarized, right against left, conservative against liberal—the only thing she really knows is that her confusion is growing.

She reads commentary that during the 20th century while fundamentalism in America grew, Christianity overall lost ground and its position as the world’s largest religion was surpassed by Islam. But a third group is by far the largest and fastest growing: It is the secular community, which includes "Christians in exile," a demographic coined by a recently retired Episcopal bishop from New Jersey, John Shelby Spong, a new name to Eleanor.

Without realizing it, she is drifting toward becoming another one of these "Christians in exile," but now, with her brother John’s return from the Army, things should get better. He, more than her parents or friends, is her favorite confidant.

More TV documentaries on Jesus and early Christianity are appearing on DISCOVERY and THE HISTORY CHANNEL. They are so engrossing she feels almost as though she is eating of the forbidden fruit. Scholars mentioned during the programs further pique her curiosity and sends her downtown to the main branch of the Wichita Public Library.

She finds BEYOND BELIEF, THE SECRET GOSPEL OF THOMAS by Elaine Pagels, A HISTORY OF GOD by Karen Armstrong, and books by Bishop John Shelby Spong including WHY CHRISTIANITY MUST CHANGE OR DIE, RESCUING THE BIBLE FROM FUNDAMENTALISM, and A NEW CHRISTIANITY FOR A NEW WORLD. Her attraction to his books is magnetic.

Finally, she becomes haunted by the quotes of Jesus found in Luke and the banished Gospel of Thomas. Could she be moving closer to an insight that has been generally ignored for two millennia? A breathtaking insight that could bring conservative Christianity into a post-modern world and even cause people to embrace it who had deemed it unbelievable? Has the time finally come for this insight to propel Eleanor into a new life and Christianity into the third millennium and beyond, rising out of the 10 to 20 percent of the world population to which it has been shackled throughout history?

From the two worlds she has known, torn between her religious world and the real world, she walks through a doorway into one new world of continuity and discovery.

Her imagination takes her to explore wide-ranging conjecture from the 18 missing years of Jesus to the essence of God, Satan, heaven, hell, miracles, divine intervention, to angels and prayer. Eleanor wonders, "Could Jesus have been married?" Several scholars say it’s more likely that he was.

She contemplates a man who started his own religion a few centuries later and imagines how he could have become one of the great Christian leaders of all time had he but known Jesus as did his disciples and not as he was described in the New Testament by his Judaic biographers.

From Eleanor’s newfound biblical scholars, she sees Jesus through the first century Jewish eyes of his apostles who were steeped in a time-honored Torah and Judaic tradition which shaped the very way they viewed the life of this man who could be none other than their Messiah.

From their first century eyes, Eleanor is able to look toward the truth at which their experience pointed. She drifts into a soaring tale like no other—about the greatest hero of all time and his life-changing world-changing insight. May Eleanor’s adventure be a light in your life that never goes out.

From the Publisher: With the vast majority of religious fiction presenting Christianity from the Evangelical point of view, A TABLE FOR THREE is a breath of fresh air. Thomas skillfully and most intriguingly brings personal observation and contemporary scholarship together into a beautiful and breathtaking story.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Table for Three
Publisher: Lyndell Publishing
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Soft Cover
Book Condition: Near Fine

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