Elijah has a dream - to follow in the footsteps of his brothers and make the VHS football team. But, for Elijah it's an uphill battle. Unlike his tall, muscular brothers, Elijah is small and weak, but he pushes on, determined to realize his dream. Elijah's faith is a source of comfort and strength, but when his new pastor begins to preach out against gays, Elijah feels increasingly unwelcome. While his church seems increasingly un-Christian, Elijah is exposed to the gay boys of Verona - boys who care about each other and reach out to those in need. Why are those who are called abominations acting more Christian than the Christians? When Elijah admits to himself that he is gay his faith is weakened. His belief is further shaken when he becomes sick. Is it a punishment from God? How could God create him gay and then punish him for it? As Elijah's troubles and doubts increase, a very special boy comes into his life and helps him find his way. Elijah learns that much of what he has been taught in church is wrong, but that he shouldn't turn his back on his beliefs. He learns that sometimes, those who present themselves as moral leaders are anything but. They are the Antichrists.
©2013 Mark A. Roeder (P)2014 Mark A. Roeder
i have listened to this multiple times the only bit of the book i don't love is the ending as it kind of makes the majority of the storey irrelevant but the rest is brill.
Yes, the story makes a point. Can we be Christians without being black and white on issues? Why do we need a whipping boy or an external enemy (measuring post of our orthodoxy) in order to feel validated as Christians? Are we saved by grace or not?
I had to listen at 1.5 speed.
No because it is too polemical and the characters aren't rounded.
Regarding the issue of choice: Who wants to be gay? Who wants to be bullied and abused? Who doesn't wish they were 'normal' and could be and have all the same things as 'normal' people? On the other hand, Why is coming out so traumatic? Why doesn't it really resolve the internal struggle? Society may say it is open but it isn't: there remains much for minorities of all types to fear.
I wonder if the biblical side of this issue was really addressed through the appearances of the Jesus character? Maybe but I really do wonder what would Jesus say or do with this issue in person.
"Too much religious stereotyping"
This book reads more like a propagandist piece for the right religion with a strong bias towards a god. This was a preachy book with a weak storyline in my opinion.
"Among the Best"
Yes, and I almost did
Seeing the world through a 15 year old eyes with knowledge of an adult. Me tears? Oh yes. I am 66 years old, and did relate to many of he situations. 6 stars for the story.
Roeder has a huge body of work so that I imagine that turning the subject of religious homophobic church pastors and coming out of the closet as a 15 year old boy totally on its head was appealing to the author. He probably just got bored. The problem here is that this is my first Roeder book and it just felt like a fantasy of "what if" I added a character that turns out to be Jesus. Yes, Jesus. You heard me. The book has heart and a purpose, that's not the problem. The problem is that solving the protagonist's dilemmas felt over-cooked. The narration was OK, not great, but only because of some lack of pace and some voice imitations and inflections just did not cut it. This will likely be my last Roeder book.
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