Out of the dozens of readers, reviewers, and fellow peers, there have always been the typical question about cloning. In most circumstances, I would try to shy away from engaging in a full discussion, and create an emphasis on the novel’s main message. Unfortunately, the question remains persistent among the audience. Why exactly would I use cloning as the tenor to advance a Christian plotline?
Although I have contemplated the dilemma to some extent; however, there seems to be further discussion on this core issue. A few friends of mine challenged me with the use of cloning because I was questioning either the sanctity of life or the power of the Resurrection. By allowing science to ‘succeed’ in the novel’s concept, I created an alternate reality which proved contrary to the beliefs I adhered to. After all, why exactly create a world that does not absolutely adhere to biblical truths?
In order to understand my response, let me begin by explaining the primary motives I used to write the entire story. Unlike what Christians like to posit, the purpose of the book is entirely polemical, namely that the purpose of the book was to use the New Testament writers as instruments of criticism for the modern church and social issues. Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, and Atheism have a lot of major issues that never seem to be addressed specifically either by the clergy or laity and the criticisms don’t stop there. Baptists, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and Pentecostals all too similarly have the same problems which are never addressed. The main point of this entire series functions for Christians and Secularists alike to pose a kind of self-criticism and examine the issues that put their churches at stake and what makes them go off course.
As for the use of cloning, there were more practical reasons to use the method instead of using the stereotypical ‘deux ex machina’ type of approach. Having the disciples appear through miraculous intervention would have enraged cessationists because God instituted a miracle for the modern-day, which would have violated their ideologies. Creating a time machine for the main characters to travel into the past (or the future) would have done likewise, not to mention that the idea of traveling into the past is unconventional. If Clark would have undergone a type of injury, woke up in heaven, and dialogue with the New Testament writers, and then woke up in a hospital room again, the idea (again) would have enraged the cessationists and cast doubt upon this kind of ‘heavenly vision.’
So I ask my critics this: what should I do?
I have no interests in creating a storyline just to please a Christian audience; writing books with independent viewpoints are freedoms authors have. Why else would anyone take a serious interest in writing something in the first place if he or she has desires to influence an audience with their own viewpoints? That is the question most readers need to understand, not try to use authors to write according to their ideals.
Having that said, one at least understands the ongoing frustrations that I have with Christian fiction.