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Cloning Christ: A Challenge of Science and Faith [Hardcover]

Peter Senese , Robert Geis
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2003
The theological thrill ride, darting from Israel through Europe to the United States, focuses on Dr. Max Train, a leading genetic scientist from Syracuse, New York. Max was once a devout believer in God, but now lives a faithless life following the brutal slaying of his beloved wife and four year old autistic daughter twelve years ago. In many ways, Max exemplifies humanity's difficulties we all face at one time or another to hold onto our faith in God and each other, as well as believing in ourselves and our own abilities. Max represents "everyperson".

Twelve years after the widely publicized trial during which Max is rightfully found innocent of his family's murder pinned on him by corrupt dark forces, Max vacations in Israel. During an earthquake outside of Jerusalem, he discovers what appears to be the Cross Jesus of Nazareth was crucified on nearly two thousand years ago. A mysterious explosion soon destroys the cave where Max had secretly extracted the ancient artifacts, killing, Train believes, his best friend Dr. Luke Gartner and two graduate students he was in Israel with. Moments later, Max's body is hit with a sea of bullets as the morning sun begins to rise over The Holy Land. A fearful Max escapes Jerusalem, embarking on an odyssey to verify the true identity of the cross and to discover who is behind the killings.

Max may hold the fate of Mankind in his hands. If this is the True Cross and Christ was cloned from the remaining blood stains and hair remnants on the cross, would government and religion become obsolete upon His Second Coming? If the blood stains and hair are those of Jesus, then what does this say about the long held belief Christ rose whole and entire upon his resurrection? Where would the battle lines be drawn between the advances in science and the beliefs of religion? What effect would this knowledge have on one's faith and beliefs?

In the hallowed halls of the Vatican a righteous Cardinal, Anselm Mugant, hears of the discovery in Jerusalem. Without the Pope's knowledge and in clear opposition to all Catholic teaching, the wayward prelate will stop at nothing - even murder - in his bid to prevent human cloning from taking place, including his misconceived belief Max Train has intent to clone the possible body of Christ. Mugant is made to represent how Man, when completely self serving, can actually do great harm including the destruction of God's Way no matter his original intention. He sets up a dangerous and complex cat and mouse game in his effort to do whatever it takes to uphold his own righteous beliefs.

Mugant soon enlists the services of the internationally rumored assassin known simply as The Scorpion to track down Max and silence him with death. The Scorpion, a onetime penitent of the Cardinal, is a force of pure evil and who challenges life. He forces this same challenge onto Max as he casts a deadly shadow over his praised soul and every move he makes.

Adding intricate subterfuge to the plot is the existence of Mugant's "Fifth Crusade", five international industrialists with great power and reach devout in the Cardinal's perspective on human genetic science, and controlled by Mugant's knowledge of their deepest secrets. Together, Mugant launches an all-out attack to find the ancient artifacts in Train's possession, and prevent the genetic scientist from doing the unthinkable in his eyes - announcing to the world a cross containing bodily remnants could indeed by the True Cross of Jesus of Nazareth - and clone the body of Christ!

Max is a modern day Job, seeking answers to life's questions as Hell literally seems to break loose around him. As all those he has ever loved perish around him and others turn against him in order to hasten his demise, Max puts his trust in Sara, a Mossad agent who is the niece of Max's trusted friend, Rabbi Morty Kohn, who helps him to slowly restore his faith and lay to rest the horror and tragedy that the brutal slayings of his wife and daughter have caused.

Cloning Christ spins a tangled and intricate web of deceit, blackmail, violence, loss, faith, forgiveness, truth and acceptance in a story that questions the right to clone, while responding to the needs and harsh realities of life as we know it. Cloning Christ is the story of life and the sacredness of it, as shared in the novel that leaves you racing to turn the page.

Product Details

Product Description

From the Publisher

Authors Peter Senese and Robert Geis join forces in Cloning Christ, a brilliantly written theological thriller which provokes the question of how genetic science and faith may co-exist in today's world. The intricately developed plot, with originally created characters who are cast behind the backdrop of an assortment of scientific and religious perspectives held by people of the world today, challenge the reader at every turn to think through these current issues as the fast-paced thriller evolves into a story of good versus evil.

From AudioFile

In this useful parable for our times of violent religious fervor, a geneticist and amateur archaeologist discovers a two-thousand-year-old cross and remains that stir up so much furor that people are killed in the fight to possess them. But the threat of being able to clone another Jesus is really the back story; the bigger issue is how to reconcile Christianity's respect for fetal life with science's new ability to create new life forms from stem cells and cloning. With a reading that smoothes out the long sentences and makes every word count, and a nice attempt at musical enhancement, the audio is entertaining and thought- provoking. T.W. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story June 29 2004
At the moment I can't recall another book that played with my emotions the way Senese and Geis' novel CLONING CHRIST has. The authors offer several extraordinary plot lines, including the existance of God in the form of mankinds' faith in the Lord. Additionally, the complex (socially, morally, ethically, and scientifically) issues of genomics and genetic science are brought to the forefront of the reader through a style that I though was clever: the authors choose to leave the complexity of genetic science's formations out of the story, but provide great insight of the complex issues via the strong plot line among the story's main character, Max Train, and the seperate interactions amongst the historically accurate Fifth Crusade. What I would like to say most is that seldom has there been a time when I went back to a novel to re-read it due to a fascination with the subject matter, the gripping style of the chase, and the historical accuracy for which a writer uses fact and wraps a compelling story around it. In CLONING CHRIST, I did that. And as much as this story is an educational piece, make no mistake, it is a first rate thriller that will not allow you to put the pages down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book worth reading. Dec 16 2003
By A Customer
Cloning Christ is a book worth reading. The authors share well-thought-out perspectives on subject matter I, like most readers today, may be keenly interested in. The approach, through rhetorical creativity, is to bring the reader and the story's protagonist together as one. The irony is that I found myself at times contemplating who the main character in this wonderful story is: is it The True Cross, or is the protagonist the discoverer of this cross; Max Train? Either way, you will are about to enter onto a journey I know I appreciated!
Contemporary fiction requires a process of active fact-gathering: the ability of an author to understand the root and context of past historical events in order to give credible life to a storyteller's work of art. In order for contemporary fiction to have believability a critical necessity is currency - that a writer get on the story's subject matter in a timely manner so that the intended message of the story will have an opportunity to reach an audience to whom the writer directs his or her words to.
In 'Cloning Christ', Peter Senese and Robert Geis thrust the reader into a spell-binding, mind absorbing story of currency as the issues of genetic 'human cloning' drive the criterion of currency, while displaying a unique ability of taken a 2,000 year old occurrence - the crucifixion of Jesus, and re-creating Jesus' possible birth through the tormented struggles 'Cloning Christ's' main character, Dr. Max Train, must endure as innovative life is given to wooden boards 2,000 years old.
The possible rebirth of Jesus, for many Christ, is innovatively created through the author's artful storytelling that essentially hands the possible True Cross of Jesus to the reader, and then says here's the Cross, what do you want to do with it?
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5.0 out of 5 stars From the prologue I was hooked. Dec 15 2003
I enjoyed Cloning Christ a great deal. Few books I have read stayed with me after I finished the last sentence, and this book has. In the mist of a violent global chase for who Senese and Geis label 'The Cross-Bearer' conducted by a fallen cardinal, their writing moves the reader ( at least they moved me) into pondering questions of my own existence and how my actions relate to man's benefit in the relationship I have with my God.
I have read some of the reviews on Amazon prior to posting my own review. I would like to add one comment I beleive will help anyone else who decides to review some of the comments posted prior to reading this book: Make sure you carefully understand the true identities of the characters in this book. There is much significance to the persona the authors create and fit into each person. If you follow and understand all that challanges each character and how they interact with the themes of the novel I think you will agree the authors have created a very special book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting, Inspirational, and Educational. Dec 10 2003
With so much talk about The Da Vinci Code going on, one of the sales assistants at my local Borders (Chicago) store suggested since I enjoyed Dan Brown's story so much, that I might enjoy reading Peter Senese's Cloning Christ.
There are some striking similarities between the two books in that both stories rely on the reader's perspective of faith to guide you to the inevitable 'what if?' endings. Also, the stories use female side-kicks to guide the story's main protagonist. Historically and educationally, it is very clear the authors' did more than their fair share of research. Most of all, both books excel the reader into frenetic concentration . . . so intriguing are the two stories.
So what differentiates the two stories? A great deal.
The characters in Cloning Christ stand out as a large, diverse, and eclectic cast. Broadly, but with razor-edge purpose Senese's ensemble of characters represent the spectrum of human emotion, human circumstance, man's faith in self, man's faith in one-another, righteousness vs. the self-righteous, good vs. evil, and those who support science vs. those who support theological procreation. The blend is perfect; the characters move in and out of the story, each leaving an impact on the scene they were in. From the onset, the readers become very attached, as if one, with Cloning Christ's protagonist, Train, as well as Sara. In The Da Vinci Code, the readers have little attachment to the protagonist, Langdon, but eventually come very close to Sophie. Historically, there were many questions I asked my self, and many facts that were pointed out to me . . . in both books. Landscapes and settings were terrific. In Cloning Christ the author's description of the city geography and its historical significance stand out.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable
Cloning Christ is a classic story of a person search for redemption and enlightenment. In Max Train, the stuggles the authors develop are multidemensional: combined with a plot... Read more
Published on June 17 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars a deceptive book
This book claims to be one thing, but is actually another. It tricks you into buying it by appealing to America's growing interest with Christianity and faith (witness the success... Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by "ulcisor2004"
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Book
Once I began this extraordinary book, I could not put it down. "Cloning Christ" is so much more than a gripping suspense thriller. Read more
Published on May 4 2004
Peter Senese is a brilliant writer. Character, plot and settings take equal part in this fast-paced, suspenseful plot. Read more
Published on April 7 2004 by Loava Swaringin
1.0 out of 5 stars Simple Grammer Needed
Rarely have I been so irritated by a book. Did they not employ spell check or a copy editor? Beyond the glaring grammatical errors, the title should have been "They Think I'm... Read more
Published on April 5 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
This novel is one of the best books I've I read. Historically correct but put in a way that you can picture scenery and understand where you are in the story. Read more
Published on March 9 2004 by Patti Koran
5.0 out of 5 stars Great use of symbolism and biblical reference
In Cloning Christ the authors use of symbolism and biblical references in order to drive a story evolving around faith is terrific - making this thriller a smart read.
Published on Feb. 8 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A passionate story of faith.
CLONING CHRIST and the story of Max Train is a passionate story of faith few writers, if any I have read, have come close to achieving. Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2004 by "chitown3011"
5.0 out of 5 stars For a thriller, this was one inspirational book.
Cloning Christ is an action packed novel that brings to the forefront of the readers mind many topical and traditional issues around personal faith, and introspective acceptance of... Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2004 by Charles O'Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars CLONING CHRIST kept my attention.
I'll keep this short: I thought Cloning Christ was a very clever book which dealt with our own internal desires to beleive in a Higher Being. Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2004
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