Wednesday 6 April 2016

Blog Tour Guest Post - The Brotherhood of the Scroll by David L. Lantz

The Brotherhood of the Scroll
Author: David L. Lantz
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Pages: 326
ISBN: 978-0692646281
Imprint: Black Hawk

Book Description:
The Brotherhood of the Scroll is a fast-paced story of international intrigue and war set during the turbulent sixth century BC. The story begins in 605 BC, when Jeremiah delivered a prophesy that Jerusalem would be carried into Babylonian captivity for 70 years. In that same year, Babylon defeated Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish, Nebuchadnezzar became King of Babylon, and within a year, carried the first of three groups of Jews into exile. Jeremiah, seeing his beloved Israel caught between these two superpowers, forms an inner circle of faithful zealots, including two future prophets of Israel, a teenager named Daniel and his friend, Ezekiel. Weaving the testimony of the Bible into the historical drama of this period, The Brotherhood of the Scroll will captivate the attention of those who enjoy an international spy thriller, as well as anyone interested in how spiritual and political issues intertwine.

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The Message of The Brotherhood of the Scroll

David, sometimes authors write novels because they want to convey a message.  Are you trying to convey a message in your novel, The Brotherhood of the Scroll?

While it’s true that I want to convey a message, I am a strong believer that when an author does so in either a book or a movie, then the message needs to be subtle.  The key is to tell a good story.  If you tell a good story that also has a message, then the reader is more likely to be open to considering the message.  If you push the message too hard, the reader won’t accept it.  So, while my answer is yes, I do have a message, my goal is to not force it on the reader, but rather introduce it to them, slowly.

So, David, what is your message?

Let me answer that with a brief analogy.  Have you ever seen the cartoon movie “The Incredibles?”  It’s the story of a family of super heroes.  Because of the cost to society of paying for the damage super heroes have done, super heroes are now banned.  There is an ordinary man who once idolized Mr. Incredible, but now seeks to destroy him.  He uses technology to make himself APPEAR to be “super”, and plans to sell his technology to make lots of money.  He calls himself “Syndrome.” He has a phrase: “When everyone’s super, then nobody is.”

Now, think of our post-modern world.  A key thought is there is no absolute truth.  “My truth is my truth, and your truth is your truth.”  Under the ideal of “value relativism, we can borrow the phrase from Syndrome and change it so that it says:  “When everything is true, then nothing is!”

Applied to the novel, each nation has its own god.  Each nation acknowledges that there are many gods, but the way you decide which god is stronger is to see whose army can win a war.  If your army wins, then your god is the stronger god. But what happens when you run into someone whose “truth” is not only that your god does not exist (and neither do all these other gods), but that his god is the THE GOD, and wants everyone to live a certain way?  Boiled down, then, message is this:  What is truth, and who is the God of Jeremiah, Daniel and Ezekiel?

David, that sounds like a complicated message.  How do you communicate that message?

Under King Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon was exiling the leadership class of each nation it conquered.  They all came back to live in Babylon. Think of a large city like New York, where different groups of immigrants gather in what might be called “China town,” “little Italy,” “little Cuba,” etc.  Each enclave would have its own gangs who hated the other groups and wanted to “protect” their territory.

The same sort of thing would have happened in Babylon.  The Babylonians would need to keep the peace.  No doubt, fights would break out from time to time between the different people living in Babylon.  That wouldn’t be unusual.  So imagine that one day, a Jew and a Philistine are in a fight, and the Captain of the Babylonian Guard decides he needs to break it up.  But, before he can do so,  one of the young Jews who have been picked by Nebuchadnezzar to join the ranks of the “wise men” gets to the two combatants first – but comes to the aid of the Philistine, not his own countryman!  Every instinct in your body says that SHOULD NOT HAPPEN. So, what do you do?  The Babylonian Captain, Naaman, decides to have dinner with the young Jew, Daniel, to learn more about why Daniel did what he did.

It is with this particular scene that I introduce the discussion about what truth is, and who is God.

David, don’t leave us hanging.  What happens?

Well, to find out, you can read this excerpt.  Hope you enjoy it!

About the Author
David Lantz was the State Director of the Indiana Christian Coalition from 1992 to 1995, and has served as a political consultant to several political campaigns for statewide office. From 1989 to 1993, he wrote and published a statewide public policy newsletter, Indiana Issues. Since that time, he has worked in the telecommunications industry.

In addition to The Brotherhood of the Scroll, he has self-published three other books; "Indiana Issues: 1990 and Beyond,", "Bill Clinton: You're No John F. Kennedy", and "Buying Technology: Understanding What You Need and Why You Need It. A telecommunications sales executive, he sold various PBX, network services and web hosting services from 1994 to 2005. He has also appeared as a speaker in a number of forums, both to promote his books and to speak on various public policy issues.

Mr. Lantz is an Adjunct Professor of Business Management for the University of Phoenix and the Indiana Institute of Technology. He is the author of Think Like Jesus, Lead Like Moses: Leadership Lessons from the Wilderness Crucible, and his second novel, The Sword of the Scroll.

An adult Sunday school teacher at his church for the last twenty years, he has had several articles published in Christian magazines such as The Lookout and Sunday Digest. While with the Christian Coalition, he gave numerous speeches on the subject of Christian involvement in politics.

Mr. Lantz holds a B.A. degree in History and Political Science from Butler University (1979). He holds a Masters Degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University (1981). He is married to his wife of 33 years, Sally, and has three children.


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