We are not born believing in God. Some of us have the faith that we believe in because they were handed to us by our parents or taught to us by others. Others discover God later in life. No matter how early it is developed, faith is acquired. And, since it is acquired, it can be questioned, realigned, or even shed.
For author, Wayne Talbot, this faith is the Christian religion. Talbot grew up in a Catholic Boy's boarding school. For a significant time in his life, he considered becoming a priest or joining a religious order. Jesus was a central part of his life and was as real to him as any living person that he knew. Talbot is very close to the Christian faith and its idea of Jesus. To have questions took a great deal of curiosity and a more significant amount of research. He shares these questions and the knowledge that he has acquired in his book, Once a Christian: How the Bible Convinced Me to Walk Away.
In his book, Talbot writes, "If one were to write a theological summation of both the Jewish Bible and the Christian New Testament, they would contradict one another on numerous important points." For him, Jesus is still real. He is real in that he existed. However, as Talbot has concluded, if you spend a considerable amount of time searching the Bible itself, there are a lot of contradictions. This book explores two key issues. First, is if the character of Jesus in the Bible is true to the footsteps of Jesus of Nazareth or if he is just a Roman invention. Second, is if Jesus indeed was the promised messiah descended from the line of King David. Talbot presents his wide-ranging research to find out if these Christian precepts that are the foundation of this religion are true.
Having studied the works of many religious authors — Catholics, Protestants, Messianic Jews, and Orthodox Jews, Talbot's book is for those with open minds who seek to answer questions about their beliefs instead of believing without question.
The author, Wayne Talbot, was once a Christian. Raised in the Catholic faith, and finding some doctrines having no basis in the bible, his studies directed him away from Catholicism to non-denomination Protestantism; from there to Evangelical Christianity; from there to Messianic Judaism; and from there to where he is today - a theist believing in the God of the Hebrew Scriptures, but aligned with no identified religion. Putting aside all theological presuppositions, and using his experience as a former commercial analyst, he sought to objectively evaluate the various claims and counter-claims concerning the man, Jesus of Nazareth: who was he really? Was he as Christianity claimed, the Messiah sent to save us from our sins; was he an apocalyptic prophet, or was he somebody who saw himself as someone other than he was, and eventually fell afoul of the Roman rulers? His journey has taken him through the theologies of the Catholic, Protestant, Messianic Jewish, and Orthodox Jewish religions, the apologetics of the corresponding religious scholars, and the works of secular historians. Seeking biblical truth, he compared some 30 bible translations from the Hebrew, Greek, Syriac, and Latin, disappointed and saddened to find that the truth was more elusive than he had anticipated. At best, he has only managed to uncover untruth. Though a late starter in the literary field, Wayne Talbot has published a novel, Finding the Shepherd, a pseudo-biographical account that alludes to his own theological wanderings against a background of places he has been, but entirely fictional people and events. He has published a refutation of Richard Dawkins’ Greatest Show on Earth, entitled The Dawkins Deficiency, and an entirely original treatise, Information, Knowledge, Evolution, and Self, which contends that the posited mechanisms of evolution are insufficient to account for the cognitive information and knowledge in humans. In his series, From the Back Pew, he has written 16 bible studies, most self-published on Amazon Kindle, and others to be self-published in paperback in the near future. This volume, the 16th, is the second to be published professionally.