I recently had the pleasure of interviewing author, D. Richard Fergusson who wrote a great 2-book series of Christian allegorical adventure stories that I highly recommend, Escape From Paradise and At War With the Wind (The Fight For Abigail). My review of At War With the Wind posted here yesterday, and my review of Escape From Paradise can be read here.
Me: You are the author of “Escape From Paradise (Walk With the Wind Book 1)” and it’s sequel, which will be out soon. I believe it was at the beginning of this book, that I read that you wrote this book about the things you’ve learned and decided to write about so that you would not forget them. Do I have that information correct?
D. Richard Ferguson: Correct. I read Thomas Watson’s little book titled The Doctrine of Repentance, and I wanted to make sure I remembered the insights I gained from that book. So I thought I’d make up a little story that dramatized those principles. I thought it would take an afternoon. It took over four years. The more I wrote, the more I realized how much I needed to learn about writing fiction. So I took classes, read books, and hired editors. And each time I learned something new about writing, I re-worked the book to incorporate what I had learned. Definitely the least efficient way of learning how to write!
Incidentally, the Watson character in the book is named after Thomas Watson, as he is the character who dramatizes the principles about repentance.
Me: You also mentioned learning a lot by studying John Piper’s teachings. Was that through both books and videos?
D. Richard Ferguson: Mainly through his sermons. That’s my favorite mode of learning. And I believe Piper is one of the greatest preachers of our age.
Me: Which of John Piper’s books would you suggest for others to read?
D. Richard Ferguson: His most important book, without question, is Desiring God. The material in that book has had an influence on my life, and on the Christian world in general.
Another extremely helpful Piper book is Future Grace. The video series is also fantastic. He does a great job teaching how to overcome specific sins through faith.
Piper says there is one of his own books that he reads over and over: Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ. It’s a wonderful little book.
Me: Have you ever met John Piper?
D. Richard Ferguson: I have. I visited his church and caught up with him after the service and asked if I could have a meeting with him. He invited me to dinner at his house that evening. I think they just make extra food every Sunday afternoon so they can invite people over. He’s an amazing man. He really lives what he preaches.
Me: According to your Amazon profile, you have “25 years of pastoral ministry and biblical counseling, formal seminary training, and a deep, lifelong passion for God’s word”. How has all of this helped in writing Escape From Paradise and your soon-to-be-released sequel?
D. Richard Ferguson: Most Christian novels are designed to dramatize biblical principles. But to make the entire story a biblical allegory, so that all the details represent truths from God’s Word, is difficult. It takes a fairly thorough knowledge of Scripture to keep the allegory consistent throughout.
Also, my training and experience in biblical counseling was very helpful. I didn’t want to merely illustrate points of systematic theology, but also practical theology—showing the “how-to” of Christian living.
For example, I have helped many counselees overcome addictions. Each of the steps I take them through are dramatized in At War with the Wind. Each step the characters take to rescue Abigail illustrates a biblical principle for escaping the bondage of enslaving sin.
Me: On Amazon, “Escape From Paradise” is noted as a Christian Adventure novel. I have read it and can certainly agree with that description, but I also see it as an allegorical story, reminiscent of John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress”. How does it make you feel to have someone equate your book with a book that has been around since the 1600s?
D. Richard Ferguson: Honored! I pray the Lord would be pleased to use these books to touch lives the way he has with Pilgrim’s Progress!
Me: What do you hope people will get out of reading “Escape From Paradise”?
D. Richard Ferguson: My two greatest wishes are these:
- That readers would gain a deeper understanding of the gospel than they had before. The story is designed such that a child or an unbeliever with no knowledge of the gospel at all should be able to understand how a person comes to Christ. But at another level, a seasoned Christian or pastor will gain deeper insights into gospel truths than they had before.
- That readers would be moved emotionally by the mercies of God. We hear all the time, “Jesus died for your sins.” The statement is so common that it hardly registers. My goal was to portray truths like that in a way that will bring the reader to tears, deeply moved by gospel truths.
Me: Will you share the title and a short blurb about your upcoming sequel to “Escape From Paradise”
D. Richard Ferguson: Title: At War with the Wind: The Fight for Abigail
A journey of faith. A fight for redemption. Can they conquer external and internal forces to follow the way to freedom?
Watson is stunned that his sister abandoned her family and joined the enemy. So even as she accepts defeat, he’s determined to overcome every obstacle and stage a daring rescue. But as he and his friends stride forth, powerful foes send epic floods to drown all hope.
Abigail knows she made a terrible mistake and fights to escape the tainted paradise strangling her soul. But just when freedom seems within reach, the rescue effort takes a catastrophic turn. As Abigail struggles to find her way back to the light, she is pulled even further into the enemy’s iron grip.
Her last hope is her brother. But as Watson forges ahead to liberate Abigail, he battles twisted spirits, deadly attacks, and crushing failure.
Can Abigail free herself from her own lethal cravings and restore her joy?
At War with the Wind: The Fight for Abigail is the thought-provoking second and final book in the Walk with the Wind Christian fantasy series. If you like stalwart characters, action and suspense, and deep themes, then you’ll love D. Richard Ferguson’s allegorical conclusion.
Buy At War with the Wind and take your own adventure in faith today!
Me: I have read both, “Escape From Paradise” and “At War With the Wind: The Fight for Abigail” and enjoyed both books. They both have powerful messages. There is a scene in “At War With the Wind” that really resonated with me. Many people ask, “If God is a loving God, why does he let bad things happen?” “If God is a loving God, how can he send people to hell?” And I believe this quote from the a scene in At War With the Wind is a fantastic answer to these questions. The quote is: “For a man (I insert “God” here) of love, anger toward that which destroys good is a moral necessity. One who loves cares. And one who cares can never be apathetic about that which threatens the object of his love.” Did it cross your mind, when you wrote this scene, that this quote answers those often asked questions?
D. Richard Ferguson: Yes, it’s exactly what I had in mind. The Santa Clause concept many people have of a God who never gets angry at anyone is a horrible conception of God. Such a God could have no love, because love isn’t apathetic.
Me: What do you want people to get out of reading “At War With the Wind: the Fight for Abigail”?
D. Richard Ferguson: My hope is that they would gain insights about how to win the war against sin. Especially people who find themselves enslaved by some besetting sin or addiction.
I also hope that readers would be deeply moved by the scenes of forgiveness by the Ruler and Father.
And, of course, I hope they will be thoroughly entertained in the process!
Me: Where can people go to learn more about you and your teachings? Where can people purchase the Walk With the Wind books, “Escape From Paradise” and “At War With the Wind: the Fight for Abigail”?
For those who enjoy in-depth preaching in bite-sized segments, I have a daily podcast called Food For Your Soul. Each day has a message anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes in length, with an application for that day.
And under the Resources tab is the Sermons page. There listeners can download over a thousand sermons for frees. They can be searched by Scripture passage.
Me: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
D. Richard Ferguson: I’d like to invite readers to download a free short story I wrote titled Hannah’s Prayer. It’s biblical historical fiction from the early chapters of 1 Samuel. They can download their copy here.
By downloading it, they will be joining my Readers List, which means once a month they will get my “Goodies for Your Soul” newsletter. It includes my book reviews, sermons and articles I’ve found especially helpful, most popular podcast episodes, and other resources.
And members of the list are the first to hear about my new releases.