“Hometown Prophet”

by Dave Carew

I’d be lying if I said Christian fiction was my “thing.” Back in the 1990s, I handled nearly 100 freelance copywriting projects for Thomas Nelson Publishers. Many assignments included reading works of Christian fiction, then writing the dust jacket copy for the books. I’d cringe every time I had to do it, simply because the novels typically were so second-rate; so devoid of any real, probing exploration of faith and its meaning within the average person’s life.

That’s why I was delighted to be contacted by Jeff Fulmer, the Tennessee-based author of Hometown Prophet. Here, at last, is a Christian novel that makes demands on the reader (that he or she think) and that lovingly but assertively makes anyone who calls himself a Christian step up to what that should mean.  In this exclusive interview with Underground Nashville, Jeff Fulmer talks about his latest novel:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: You have said that Hometown Prophet was born of a frustration you were feeling regarding “how Christianity [is] misrepresented for personal and political gain.”  What, in your opinion, is the specific nature of that misrepresentation?

JEFF FULMER:  I was tired of seeing politicians pick and choose certain Bible verses to rile up their bases.  Often, they are preying on pre-existing prejudices and fears (homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny), so they are actually causing people to act in direct opposition to Jesus’s second greatest command: to “love our neighbors as ourselves.”  (Matthew 22: 39).

UN: You ask a very intriguing question in your promotional literature:  “If God spoke through a prophet today, would you really want to hear what he has to say?”  What do you believe would be the most important things he WOULD say?

JF:  God has a plan of redemption for each person and it doesn’t end with an altar call or saying the right words during a prayer; it involves making the world a better place in the here and now.   Hometown Prophet reflects how I believe the scriptures speak to the real-life issues we are confronting today in Tennessee.   With God’s help, each person can find their own way to make a positive impact on the people around them.  The most important thing is to listen and obey the call.

UN:  Why did you construct protagonist Peter Quill the way you did?  What do you hope his specific situation and character illuminate for the reader?

JF:  God can use anyone, even someone who is down-and-out, like Peter.   In fact, because Peter is unemployed, he has more time than most to be of service to God.  He’s also been humbled, which is usually when we’re most willing to try something new, even if it sounds crazy, like being a prophet.

For more information, please visit HometownProphetBook.com.

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

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Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org.  Please also consider coming to ParkLife, the benefit concert for Lambscroft, to be held in Sevier Park in 12South on Saturday, August 18. Thank you.

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Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

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