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Coptic Martyr

The Coptic Martyr of Cairo

The latest international thriller from best-selling author Martin Roth

Four Americans in Egypt on an archaeological dig. In the blistering summer heat they are fighting amongst themselves. Then they unearth a body. It is an old priest who has been murdered.

The gruesome discovery sets in train a sequence of events that leads to a deadly Islamist attack on the ancient church where the Americans are working.

The leader of the expedition, Professor Rafa Harel, must decide whether to withdraw his fractious team or continue on a mission to unveil a controversial series of wall paintings, knowing that these images have the power to spark even greater violence.

Meanwhile, watching over all of them is a dreamy young Egyptian Christian named Amir. His only quest in life is to become a martyr...

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Climbing the Blogging Tree – When Do We Stop?

Darren Rowse at Living Room asks what a Christian blog would look like if we applied Gospel principles. Among his concerns: should we buy into “climbing the blogging tree” – that is, do we strive to be noticed and linked by other bloggers (preferably Instapundit) in order to achieve recognition?

I’m a freelance writer, and self-promotion is a necessary and natural part of my work. If I don’t get recognised my family doesn’t eat. When I started my blog, in April 2002, I devoted some effort towards getting recognised by other bloggers. I had - and have – no qualms about that. It was my hope that I would have something to say, and I saw little point in saying it if no-one knew about it.

But something happened along the way.

I have a particular concern with the persecution of Christians around the world. I am upset that so few fellow Christians here in Australia really know much about the extent of this persecution, in places like North Korea, the Sudan, and even just over the water in Indonesia.

When I started this blog I expected to write often about these concerns of mine. I wanted to awaken Australian Christians to the fact that jihad was occurring in neighbouring Indonesia, and to rouse them to action.

Yet when I wrote about these things I got virtually no response. Few hits and little feedback.

By contrast, some other topics provoked a relatively large reaction. In particular, my postings about Christians and war seemed very popular. So, as a freelance writer responsive to the market, I wrote more on this topic.

Is it wrong to follow the “market”? I’ve had a few emails from people telling me they have been blessed by particular posts on Christians and the military. Some Christian publications have asked permission to reprint a few of these pieces. Surely that’s good?

Interest in the war abated with the coalition victory in Iraq. And now I’m finding a great and growing response to my postings on Southern Gospel music.

I love Southern Gospel. I’d happily write about nothing else. Is that wrong?

I get occasional emails – I got one just this morning – from Christians telling me they have been blessed from articles of mine that have told them how to find the best online Southern Gospel radio stations. I have received thanks from members of several Southern Gospel groups concerning stuff I’ve written. A number of Christian websites have linked to particular Southern Gospel articles of mine. Last week, of the 10 postings of mine that received the most hits, three were about Southern Gospel.

Yet still I feel I should write more – much more – about the persecution of Christians. It angers me that Australian Christians know so little about this.

But what’s the point if few people read me, and nothing much happens?

If growing numbers of Christians read and enjoy – and even feel blessed by – my articles on Southern Gospel shouldn’t I concentrate on that?

What’s a Christian blogger to do?

July 22nd, 2003


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