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Stephen L. Gibson

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A Secret of the Universe
by Stephen L. Gibson   

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Publisher:  Truth Driven Strategies ISBN-10:  9780979388002 Type: 


Copyright:  2007 ISBN-13:  9780979388002

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Truth Driven Strategies
A Secret of the Universe

This is a story about belief—in God, sexual ethics, morals, political ideologies—told through two friends’ struggle to make sense of life’s triumphs and tragedies, which they interpret through very different religious filters. When profound revelations lead each friend to uncover shocking historical "secrets" in support of his own worldview, their odyssey plays out on a global stage, with tragic consequences. Only by embracing the inherent mystery and pain of their quest do Ian and Bill make the discovery that really matters—a genuine secret of the universe.

In 1986, Ian and Bill are high-achieving high school students in an average, Midwestern city when a personal tragedy strikes Ian’s family. The event forces each to closely examine his beliefs and faith traditions, and sets in motion a journey of inquiry that spans a lifetime of cruel and glorious twists. Their sometimes conflicting paths through life’s liturgies and lotteries – its prejudices and paradigms – test and shape their relationship as they struggle to make sense of faith, tragedy, evil, and conventional definitions of morality. Ian wants answers his faith can’t provide, so he abandons traditional religion and its magic, mysticism, and supernaturalism; turning instead to science and reason. When competing revelations lead each of the friends to discover shocking historical secrets, their odyssey plays out on a global stage, with tragic consequences. Only by embracing the inherent mystery and pain of their quest do Ian and Bill make the discovery that really matters – a genuine secret of the universe.

The coming of age story takes turn in the late 1990s, when Ian Keppler and his wealthy employer gather an unlikely group of leading scholars, theologians and scientists, as a result of the pair’s shared thirst for truth and knowledge. In 2009, despite a nation that is mourning a massive terror attack, “The Desoterica” shakes the world by going public with proof of an incendiary discovery that threatens the very core of Christianity. Leaked to the media and hyped as a “secret of the universe,” is the discovery a colossal public-relations stunt, or a profound historical realization?

Ian’s best friend, Bill Vanderveen, is among the countless throngs who reject the group’s conclusions, based upon different interpretations of the supposed evidence. Bill’s path has become that of a devoted Christian who sees the bountiful harvest that can be achieved through spirituality and faith. The ebb and flow of his relationship with Ian notwithstanding, Bill ultimately comes to play an unlikely role in uncovering what can truly be called a secret of the universe.

Professional Reviews

Foreword Magazine Review
"Author Gibson takes the hard questions head-on and weaves multiple points of view, including the omniscient storyteller, allowing the reader enough distance to step out of the story and dig into the references in the back of the book. In fact, several characters are actual researchers and theologians, set in fiction. Fans of Gibson’s nonfiction release, Truth-Driven Thinking, will recognize the author’s dedication to the quest for truth, and many readers who delight in a well-researched cautionary tale might find themselves dog-earing pages and taking notes as they enjoy the story." (August)
Carol Lynn Stewart
(Foreword magazine review—September/October 2007)

Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic Magazine
"A Secret of the Universe is a warm and inspiring story that offers a far deeper message than the other 'Secret' book so popular these days, but this secret is based in reality, always a good idea if you live in this universe and not some other! Read A Secret of the Universe and be prepared to be moved."
--Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American

Tom Harpur, Best-selling author
"Steve Gibson has given a wholly original spin to the age-old saga of the ‘hero’s journey’ which we all must face in one way or another. This is a timely tale with profundities and depths far beyond the scope of most—if not all—first novels. A must read!" --Tom Harpur, Best-selling author of The Pagan Christ, journalist and former Rhodes Scholar

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Reader Reviews for "A Secret of the Universe"

Reviewed by Jennifer Holly MacDonald 4/10/2010
Impressive reviews. I think I will have to check out your book. I am going to recommend it to our library so that when I finish reading it, it doesn't get dusty on my bookshelf. Good books should be read. I'll let you know how that goes . . .

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