Where do you go for advice on how to die? Matt Sherwin's answer is to start an online contest. On July 31st, he will commit to the philosophy or faith that has the most points on his blog. But cancer is not so predictable and neither is life. More
'Contesting Faith' is a novel that aims to make theological and philosophical issues accessible to ordinary readers who enjoy an interesting story with dramatic twists.
A 32 year old marketer named Matt Sherwin learns that he has incurable cancer and about 6 months to live. In the emotional confusion of this news, he attends two funerals, one high church and one thoroughly secular. As he watches the mourners, Matt is forced to think seriously about his own death and how to face the rest of his life.
Frustrated by his initial attempts to find satisfactory answers to his questions, Matt decides to use his marketing skills to tease out the best answers through a blog diary. This evolves into a contest between different religions and ideologies where Matt will award one point for every answer that is both original and helpful. At an agreed date, he will 'convert' to whichever religion or ideology has the most points.
However, neither cancer nor life itself is predictable and much drama ensues before the final outcome of the contest. Even then, there are lessons to learn about how faith impacts life.
The subject of life after death is profound and complex but, because the issues are filtered through the lens of an everyday bloke like Matt, they are not presented in an intellectual or scholarly way. Where some more complicated theories appear as comments on Matt's blog page, he finds them too hard to understand and either seeks a simpler explanation or dismisses them altogether.
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