Lee's Simmons Is Finalist In National Competition

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - by Tyler Beckett, Lee University
Dr. Bill Simmons
Dr. Bill Simmons

A novel written by Dr. Bill Simmons, a professor of New Testament and Greek studies at Lee University, is one of the finalists in a national Christian novelist competition. A story of faith in the early days of the United States of America, Simmons’ Seth Garner may receive CrossBook’s Publisher’s Choice publishing deal and see nationwide distribution. 

“[CrossBooks was] the first to read Seth Garner in its final form and their judgment was the first objective evaluation of the work I have received,” said Dr. Simmons. “It’s very rewarding that someone other than yourself thinks your story is worth reading.”

A significant part of Dr. Simmons’ decision to write the novel was a desire to make history real for the reader. Too often, he says, do students of history miss the “big picture.”

“Seth Garner portrays those critical historical moments that have made us who we are today,” said Dr. Simmons. “I have used Seth as the ‘human face’ to convey this fascinating narrative about our origins as a nation.”

Dr. Simmons has been a member of Lee’s faculty since 1986, teaching a wide variety of courses in the School of Religion. These have included Romans and Galatians, First and Second Corinthians, Prison Epistles, New Testament Greek, Luke-Acts, and many others. He also teaches graduate-level courses and is currently researching Pauline anthropology and cosmology.

While Seth’s development and growth in faith is central to the book’s story, the novel itself interacts with faith in a way that Dr. Simmons believes is unique to literature.

“Believers are, at a fundamental level, literary,” said Dr. Simmons. “Christian fiction, especially the kind that can convey powerful aspects of the faith in an interesting and enjoyable way, can add vitality and depth to the Christian journey. I hope that Seth Garner can accomplish this in some measure.”

CrossBooks is a division of LifeWay, a Church retail nonprofit and one of the largest in the world. CrossBooks was created in 2009 to allow Christian authors to participate in the publication of their work. While it is the authors themselves that seek out CrossBooks, the organization is dedicated to preserving the standard of theological and literary excellence their parent organization pursues. 

The winners of the contest will be announced Friday, April 15. To learn about the finalists and check for results, visit http://www.crossbooks.com/writingcontest/winners.aspx.

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