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Following is an excerpt from: 

Fools, Liars, Cheaters and Other Bible Heroes

“No two snowflakes are alike and no two people are alike,” as my Dad used to say.  Nowhere is this truer than in God’s creation of human beings. Our souls are as unique as our fingerprints.  Men and women, leaders and nobodies, the noble and the not so noble:  we are all invited to participate in God’s banquet of love.  This theme is spelled out in the introductory chapter of Fools, Liars, Cheaters and Other Bible Heroes using Jesus’ parable of the king’s wedding feast.  In the parable, when the guests originally invited refused the invitation, the king invited an assortment of people to the feast: crippled, beggars and the like.  The invitation of all and sundry to the Kingdom of Heaven is illustrated in the book using individual examples in the chapters that follow.


Each chapter describes a different Biblical figure, their unique combination of personality traits, including strengths and weaknesses, and the different circumstances in which each found himself or herself. From Samuel, dedicated to a life of holiness from birth, to Rahab, the woman of ill repute mentioned in Christ’s genealogy; from the prominent and influential Joseph of Arimathea to Tabitha, who served in quiet obscurity, a wide range of people is presented and their stories explored. The twenty-four chapters present a balanced cross-section of God’s guest list: twelve Old Testament figures and twelve New Testament figures equally divided with six men and six women in each section. The chapters are arranged more or less chronologically; in the order the characters are presented in the Bible.


All chapters begin with a passage from scripture related to the chapter subject. The body of the chapter explores the circumstances surrounding the person and the scriptural passage.  Sprinkled throughout the chapter are my personal comments and questions designed to draw the reader in and help them identify the feelings and reactions these very human biblical characters might well have experienced. In this way, readers will connect in a dynamic way with those who have gone before us, following God’s plan for their lives.  The wide range of personalities and circumstances included in these chapters will help readers see how God may be calling them and using them no matter what their personal style, talents and foibles, background and environment might be.  God is inviting us all, right where we are, right now.  Fools, Liars, Cheaters and Other Bible Heroes will help all who read it experience their personal invitation more fully and hopefully increase their motivation to respond.


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Forward to this book written by:

Allan F. Wright
Academic Dean of Evangelization
St. Paul Inside the Walls
Visit www.allanwright.org   for information about Allan, his work, and his new book, Jesus the Evangelist: A Gospel Guide to the New Evangelization

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Fools, Liars, Cheaters, and Other Bible Heroes” takes a down to earth look at the diverse assortment of biblical characters called by God.


But Jesus answered “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’” (Matthew 4:4)


All Bible quotes are from the Good News Translation unless otherwise noted.


It is reassuring that Jesus called fishermen and tax collectors to be his followers. These were laymen, not Scripture experts. It is wise to seek guidance from religious scholars and clergy who have studied Scripture to avoid errors in interpretation. But the Bible is also a gift given to each of us, to use as a basis for prayer and meditation.


I’m not a Biblical scholar; I’m an expert only on my own experience. Following the Scripture passage is a brief meditation along with a question or two as a springboard for your own reflections. Please feel free to share your own thoughts or insights on the passage by adding a comment. All comments are moderated, so please allow some time for your comment to be posted.

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