Thursday, August 30, 2018

Guest Post from William E. Jefferson, author of Divine Choreography of Redemption

Title: Divine Choreography of Redemption: Setting the Eternal Saga in Time
Author: William E. Jefferson
Publisher: Hybrid Global Publishing
Genre: Historical Fantasy

Divine Choreography of Redemption explores the story of redemption as divine drama advanced by acts and agents that transcend time and space. The novel is set beyond the Storied Sea on the ancient Isle of Estillyen, far from everywhere yet mystically near. There, a troupe of Message Makers from the seventeenth century mysteriously arrives to grapple with the theme in today's context.
At the heart of the novel, a battle brews between technology's driven existence--aided by modern devices and algorithms--and life centered in Scriptures ancient narrative. The story line begs the question: Does meaning truly abide in the saga of redemption's divine choreography, or in media's discarnate realm?


The Son of God and Satan’s Demise

A few years ago, I wrote an article for Time magazine titled “Is Satan Dead?”[1]The piece was prompted by the 2014 movie release Son of God.[2]
To public surprise, Satan, the archenemy of God, had been axed from the film. Satan’s fall from stardom stoked rumors. Where did he go, and why? Did he have a more important role to play, a more lucrative offer? Or had the unimaginable come to pass: was Satan dead?
Though provocative, Satan’s 2014demise was not nearly as shocking as the supposed disappearance of God in 1966. Two days prior to Easter that year, Time magazine rocked the world with a three-word front cover boldly asking “Is God Dead?”The type-only cover was a first for Time.
Circumstances surrounding Satan’s departure proved more straightforward than the questionable disappearance of God. In fact, the executive producers of Son of God, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, were keen to speak about the villain’s swift exit.
Irish-born Downey, who plays Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the film, told USA Today, “It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the Son of God, and the Devil gets no more screen time, no more distractions.”
Downey expressed no ambivalence about the decision. “I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus,” she explained.“I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out.”
So simple; it seemed so clear cut. A pair of modern movie makers exercised carte blanche mastery over the ancient narrative. Snip, Satan was gone, the Devil deposed. The filmmakers desired a movie about Jesus, the Son of God, minus the ancient foe.
Fortunately, the Gospel writers of old possessed a different resolve. They understood that the story of Christ would appear inept without the wicked one as part of the narrative. Concerning this point, the Scriptures are rather explicit: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”
Consequently, one might say that the dark, deathly role of Satan enlightens the light. The light of truth shines brighter still, when cast against the darkened veil. This point is not lost in my newly released novel, Divine Choreography of Redemption: Setting the Eternal Saga in Time. As the plot unfolds, readers will discover Satan playing a rather mesmerizing role.
The following is a brief except. Here, we find Satan at the Crimson Cliffs addressing a mass audience of discarnate souls:
The frightening figure [Satan] stood on a high platform built on top of giant round, red boulders. Behind him, mountainous red cliffs formed a high ridge that extended on an on in every direction. On the plane in front of him, row upon row of eyes stretched into infinity. The rows fanned out wider and wider as they spread across the barren soil.
“Look around you,” Satan said; “all you see are eyes. Look now at me, as I look upon thee. Many have longed to see what you now see. Gaze long. Look well. I have not forsaken or forgotten you. Know this: I am your shield and great reward.”
Divine Choreography of Redemption is a compelling read, a buoyant, allegorical tale underscoring the importance of incarnational faith and human worth. At the heart of the novel, a significant battle brews between augmented reality—aided by algorithms and modern technology—set against life inspired by Scripture’s abiding narrative.
So, when the subject turns to Satan, it’s not wise to announce his premature demise. The ancient foe has been around since time began, and he knows how to survive a fall. Just the same, Satan is well and truly doomed. Words penned by St. John speak to the heart of the tale: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”[3]
In a modern digital society, prone to nibbling on tiny tweets and tidbits, Scripture’s epic drama plays a vital role. The divinely choreographed drama draws us into matters that matter most. It halts the frenzied pace of mediated chatter and invites us to enter the eternal saga, set in time.

William E. Jefferson is author of Divine Choreography of Redemption: Setting the Eternal Saga in Time, available on Amazon.

[2]Son of God, Christopher Spencer, director; Lightworkers Media, 2014.
[3] John 1:5

Having lived and worked in London, Moscow, and New York, today author William Jefferson writes from a Civil-War era cottage in the rural Ozarks. He is author of Messages from Estillyen : A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth, and owner of Storybook Barn Jefferson holds an MTh in Theology and Media from the University of Edinburgh and an MA in Communications from the Wheaton Graduate School. 

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