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The Rich Man

The Rich Man, my first novel, is in imaginative account of what might have happened to the rich young man who “went away sad” after declining Jesus’ invitation to sell all he had, give it to the poor, and follow him (Matthew 19:16-22). Writing the novel served as a kind of spiritual autobiography—an attempt to understand my own reluctant journey toward an adult faith after a long struggle. I was especially concerned to answer the question, if God has the power to create a perfect world, why didn’t he do so? In the final chapter our hero, long bedeviled by this question, finds an answer he can live and die with. 

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"Due to Betty’s adherence to historical-cultural detail, the novel creates a real world. We met Mary Magdalen, Herod Antipas, Apollos the Greek physician, and briefly Jesus of Nazareth. He weaves a story of mystery and romance into a cloth of philosophical issues. I found that although the story inspired me to read ahead quickly, I purposely slowed my pace because within the adventure were valuable lessons and insights. Unlike much contemporary literature, The Rich Man may live to become an important work."

~ Darby Patterson

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