Where are the Christians by Eric Shuster

Welcome to Author Eric Shuster

ERIC SHUSTER has dedicated his writing career to building bridges of understanding between Christians. His first book Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest chronicles the faith journey of he and his wife including the respectful comparison of dozens of doctrines between Catholicism and Mormonism. Shuster’s second book, The Biblical Roots of Mormonism (co-authored with Charles Sale) provides a common scriptural platform for Christians to better understand Mormon doctrine using over 1,000 scriptural references from the Bible. Shuster’s latest work, Where are the Christians: The Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion explores the “who, what, where and how” of Christianity with an eye towards increased unification and respect among all Christians regardless of denominational affiliation. With his professional research background, directorship at the Foundation for Christian Studies, and his unique life experiences, Shuster is able to delve into complex spiritual subject matter and make it understandable and enjoyable to the everyday reader.

INTERVIEW
1.      If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

To the formation of the United States to be with the Founding Fathers and to understand their vision for the United States both then and into the future. I would speak to them about the state of the US and how the Constitution should be applied in these latter days. I have a section on the Founding Fathers in chapter 4 of my book.

2.      If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

The power to heal people from whatever infirmity they are inflicted with. However, as with all super powers there are unintended consequences to be dealt with. In this case, who does the Lord want healed and who does he wish to remain in such a state?

3.      Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Where are the Christians? will improve your understanding and appreciation of Christianity historically, spiritually, behaviorally and socially—helping you reach your full potential as a Christian in your family, church and community.   

4.      Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?

I have written on the comparison of Catholic and Mormon doctrine, how Mormon doctrine can be supported solely by the Bible, and how Christianity can be united. My next book will look at scripture and text revealed in the latter-days (LDS scripture, Dead Sea Scrolls, etc.) and examine how each brings great clarity to the Bible, creating a “high definition” gospel.

5.      Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published
Hearing from people all over the world with touching stories of how they were inspired by reading my books. It is the greatest blessing of writing.

6.      What is your favorite Quote?
“Don’t let best be the enemy of better” – author unknown

7.      What do you do in your free time?

Outside of work and writing there is only family. Besides my three kids (all older) and grandchildren, we have taken in and are raising three more children:  twin boys 2 years old and their older brother 3 years old – this is where my free time goes.

8.      If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

I wrote, arranged and recorded a song for my wife this Christmas for our 25th wedding anniversary where I sing about how our life is nothing like we planned – that would be the title of the book.

9.      Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.

I wake up at 4:00 AM to pray, read the scriptures, write and take care of personal matters. I manage the kids’ morning routine from about 6:00 AM until 8:00 AM when I then go into my home office to work (I am the CEO of a market research firm). I return to help with the kids’ lunch time routine at 12:00 PM until 1:00 PM when I return to my office until 5:00 PM. I then help with the kids’ dinner and wind down routine until 8:00 PM. At 8:00 PM my wife and I see how much energy we have left to catch a decent show on TV, talk, share time and then collapse in bed around 9:30 or 10:00 PM. This all changes of course when I am on the road in some part of the world.

10.  Favorite music?

Heavy rock music believe it or not (e.g. Three Days Grace), although I loathe the lyrics sometimes. I am a musician, songwriter and have recorded and produced many songs; however, at about age 20 I decided life as a musician was not conducive to having a family. I poke at it now and record from time to time as time and inspiration move me.

11.  What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I am an introvert at heart; however, put me in front of a crowd and my personality completely changes to a raging extrovert. Once the lights go out I am back in my shell.

12.  What do you think of book trailers?

When done right they can be powerful. The trailer for Where are the Christians? is extremely powerful with dramatic narration, stunning 3D graphics and a great call to action. You can watch the trailer at www.FindYourChristianity.com

13.  Where do you write?

Literally where ever I am. I write mostly at a desk in our family room in the early morning, but also on airplanes, hotel rooms, office and in airports. Can you tell I travel a bit? J

14.  Who or what inspired your last book?

I was inspired by ever increasingly divided state of Christianity in America and how it is operating far under its potential in generating positive influence on issues of politics and morality among our citizens—thus the title of the book:  Where are the Christians? The Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion.

15.  Happiest moment in your life so far

Marrying my beautiful wife of over 25 years—Marilyn.

16.  If you were President for a day, what is the first thing you would do?

Encourage all citizens, churches and institutions to take responsibility for themselves and their own while reaching out to help others, recognizing the government cannot sustainably do that.  

17.  What drew you to writing this genre?

My passion to help others understand the gospel and gospel principles in a way that they can immediately apply to their own lives and be a happier people.

18.  If you weren’t a human, what would you be?

A dog—I am fiercely loyal

19.  Craziest thing you ever ate?

June bugs in a brown sauce while I was working in Singapore; or perhaps raw fish guts in Japan. I have lived and worked in Japan and Europe and have eaten many wild things that most would never think of eating

20.  What makes your book standout from the crowd?

No one has ever taken on the challenge of summarizing the who, what, where and how of Christianity in so few pages with so many fresh perspectives

21.  Describe your book in 5 words

Viewing Christianity Differently and Hopefully

22.  140 Characters or less Tweet about your book.

Find out who the Christians are historically; what a Christian is spiritually; where the Christians are behaviorally; and how Christianity can unite

This or That

TV or Movies?

Movies

Hot or Cold?

Hot weather, cold drinks.


Night owl, or early bird?

Definitely early bird.


Print or Ebook?

Print


Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate candy, vanilla shakes


Action or Drama?

Action


Pizza or Pasta?

Whole wheat pasta


Summer or Winter?

Summer


City or Country?

Country


Harry Potter or Twilight?

Harry Potter


Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?

Planning ahead


PC or Mac?

PC


Beach or Pool?

Beach


Cause or Effect?

Cause


Truth or Dare?

Truth


Text or Talk?

Talk – overwhelmingly!


Top Fives
Things That Inspire You

Godly leaders

Selfless people

Underdogs winning

Children in need

Motivational music


Pieces of Advice you have for aspiring writers

Create an outline of the book and how it would flow – a map is critical

Write the easiest chapter first and let that inspire and motivate you – you need early wins

Every minute counts, write if all you have is 15 minutes to write – it adds up

Use a template provided by the publisher – formatting matters

Writing the book is not the hard part, marketing is – be prepared to market, market, market

Favorite desserts

French silk pie

Apple cobbler with ice cream

Chocolate fondue

Fresh peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies

Tres Leches cake



Guest Post

Ponder if you will the state of our world; and in particular the condition of America. Although one can easily argue the United States is still the greatest nation in the world and a country so many desire to come to—even risk their lives to enter into—there is no denying America’s social, moral and spiritual fabric continues to deteriorate at an accelerated pace. For many this is an alarming and discouraging trend.

Now consider the fact that 76% of Americans claim to be Christian, making the United States one of the highest per-capita Christian nations in the world. A nation full of Christians in a deteriorating society? If this indeed be the case then WHERE ARE THE CHRISTIANS? To solve this conundrum author Eric Shuster gives us a book that bears this question as its title with the promise of answers and a unique journey for readers.

Where are the Christians? uses the classic format of who, what, where and how to explore Christianity and the dynamics that unite and divide the religion into the unrealized potential it suffers from today (thus the subtitle of the book—the Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion). The book enlightens readers as to who the Christians are from a historical perspective; what a Christian is from a spiritual perspective; wherethe Christians are from a behavioral perspective; and how Christianity can be strengthened and more united from a societal perspective. Where are the Christians? examines hundreds of Biblical and scholarly sources, analyzing data from a multitude of studies leading to unique perspectives and solutions to the challenges facing Christianity in the modern era.

Where are the Christians? contains 17 chapters arranged into four sections:

·         SECTION 1:  WHO ARE THE CHRISTIANS?—a history4 chapters providing a concise history of Christianity spread across four distinct periods:  Evangelization and Formation, Legitimacy and Codification, Corruption and Division, and Reform and Denominational Proliferation.

·         SECTION 2:  WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?—a definition4 chapters examining the definition of a Christian from the perspectives of the world, the Bible, landmark religious studies, and what Shuster refers to as Modern Day Pharisees.  

·         SECTION 3:  WHERE ARE THE CHRISTIANS?—a categorization5 chapters profiling the five types of modern Christians including a unique and enlightening exercise to help readers understand what type of Christian they are among the five. 

·         SECTION 4 – HOW IS CHRISTIANITY TO UNITE?—a vision:  4 chapters describing the ways Christians in America can unite into a force for good by focusing on individuals, families, churches and communities. 

To watch the book trailer, take a survey to find out what type of Christian you are, and to pre-order the book go to www.findyourchristianity.com.

Where are the Christians?

Where are the Christians: The Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion uses the classic format of who, what, where and how to explore Christianity and the dynamics that unite and divide the religion into the unrealized potential it suffers from today. The book enlightens the reader as to who the Christians are from a historical perspective; what a Christian is from a spiritual perspective; where the Christians are from a behavioral perspective; and how Christianity can be strengthened and more united from a societal perspective. The book examines hundreds of Biblical and scholarly sources leading to unique perspectives and solutions to the challenges facing Christianity today.