A Sort of Manifesto

from Ken Kuhlken

Backstory: when I was sixteen my dear friend Eric moved in with me. Both our fathers had passed on. My mom was in a hospital isolation ward with spinal meningitis. Eric’s mom was crazy.

Eric may have been an angel. You could learn more about him in Reading Brother Lawrence.  When I we were sixteen, he became convinced he wouldn’t last long. And, soon thereafter, he died in a car crash.

A year and some months after Eric died, I got lured by a friend to a Billy Graham crusade, and there became convinced that, though I had plenty reasons not to believe in Christians, I should give the faith a chance. So, I read the Bible several times.

During college as student of literature, philosophy, and history and for the sake of fairness, I also read the primary texts of other faiths. All that reading convinced me to believe what Andre Crouch preached in a song, that “Jesus is the answer for the world today.”

And lately I have recognized that in my novels, I always attempt to remind Christians that hardly everyone who claims that label is a saint and to introduce skeptics to  the wisdom of Christ’s message, regardless of how it may get misused.

I read in the The Tipping Point about a Sesame Street theory, that if you can keep children’s attention, you can educate them. I would extend this theory to educating adults, as most of us are only larger children.

Since Feodor Dostoyevski created novels that hold my attention, I not only don’t object to his educating me, I love him for doing so. For that reason, and because I, like him, am fascinated by crime, I allow his work to inspire my novels. But since he was a genius and I am not, I try my best to entertain and to the minimize the educating.

Ken lives online at kenkuhlken.net
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