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A Skeleton In God's Closet Paperback – Jan 17 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers-Fiction (Jan. 17 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595540024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595540027
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.4 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,008,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Dr. Paul L. Maier is the Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University. He is also a historical novelist and serves as Second Vice President of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod.


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"A Skeleton In God's Closet" is well worth reading on many levels. It is based on the 'discovery' of Jesus bones along with other artifacts that 'prove' its authenticity. It is very thorough in its academic approach to the archeological aspects of the story - perhaps too much so, in some cases. I found myself skimming through some of the more dry scientific stuff to get back to the story. The story itself, however, is well written. I especially appreciated the skill in which the author described the scenery and even the emotional turmoil of the main character, Dr. Jon Weber. However, i did find some of the romantic scenes a bit 'cheesy', if I may say. That part of the story just didn't read as natural. Over all, however, I enjoyed the book - the intrigue, the subterfuge and the disturbing question itself - what if Christianity is a grand hoax? I caught myself feeling disheartened and disillusioned along with the 'world' as the story progressed - the mark of good story telling, I think! I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in investigative stories, archeology, and of course, Christian fiction.
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Format: Paperback
This novel succeeds as a work of entertainment. It is also a very informative examination of archeology, with lots of interesting details about digs and the verification of artifacts.
The characters are reasonably well drawn, though the females seem to be celebrated more for their beauty than for their personality or character. There was room in this novel for an older or unattractive woman known for her warmth, wisdom or expertise. I liked the main female character in the book, I just felt that her chief virtue in the author's mind was her beauty.
Perhaps the book's greatest feature is that it encourages us to think about the nature of faith. The plot is very cleverly designed to make us think specifically about the details on which Christians base their faith in Christ.
The key theological issue in the book involves questions about the truth of the physical resurrection of Christ in the body. Whether Christ lived on after the crucifixion is not the consuming question of this novel, but rather whether he lived on in physical form. The question is not whether he ascended into heaven, but weather he did so in the flesh and blood body he bore while here on earth. As a result, this book is really a text written for Christians by a Christian in order to argue a particular theological point of interest primarily to Christians.
The argument seems a bit contrived at times because it sets up those who believe in a physical resurrection of Christ against those who believe that Christ had no true divinity. There is no room in this book for those who believe in a non-physical resurrection or who believe that Christ is not tied to the physical body he wore while on earth.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Paul Maier recently released a sequel to this book, a classic that I read almost 10 years ago. The sequel is called "More than Just a Skeleton, it was one Man against the World" and was one of the best books I've read in years.
A Skeleton in God's Closet is well worth reading and I have reread it and enjoyed it many times. Not only will this book make you think about issues of faith versus knowledge, but it will also introduce you to the world of scientific verification of archaeological discoveries. It is the only accessible book to this highly technical feild that I have ever encountered.
The characters in Dr. Maier's book are realistic and easy to identify with. Some have criticised his inability to create deep female characters in his book, and perhaps there is some validity to this as the female character in this book is not really well-developed. The romance is juvenile, unrealistic and annoying. (My wife unfortunately never finished the book because of the cheesy romantic scenes). However the other strengths of the book make it well-worth skipping the remantic passages.
I highly recommend reading this book as a introduction to Dr. Maier's new work, which I believe is the best book of Christian fiction since C.S. Lewis wrote the "Great Divorce".
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Maier's book is a very thought provoking story about what it would be like if something were uncovered that might possibly signal the end of Christianity. A word of caution to Christians reading this book. At the outset the book seems heretical in its subject matter, however, have no fear the author is Christian and makes all right in the end, once again proving that God can take evil intent and turn it to his bidding. The only problem I had with this book was a small amount of sexual content. I only bring this up because my twelve year old son wanted to read it and I had to tell him it was a little above him. I realize Dr. Maier wrote this for adults and not children. However, I feel a Christian writing a book about Christianity, albeit the subject matter ficticious, still has responsibilities to his fellow Christians. Having to explain to my son that he cannot read this book because of a minor amount of PG-13 material was a bit difficult, since it was written by a Christain. Otherwise the book was very good. It's a mysterical pager turner in the classic sense, and for Christians especially, it will be impossible to put down.
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