(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Set in both modern-day and first century Israel, Transgression chronicles the time travels of one woman and two men and their encounters with Jesus’ early followers. The first novel in Randall Scott Ingermanson’s City of God series, Transgression received a Christy Award for futuristic fiction. Retribution (2003) and Premonition (2004) continue the chronicles of Rivka Meyers and Ari Kazan, characters introduced in Transgression.

The novel begins with American Rivka Meyers participating in a summertime dig in modern Israel. Eventually her journey takes her back to 50 c.e., a time when the ruins she explores were products of architecture, not fodder for archaeology. A fellow archaeologist introduces her to Ari Kazan, an Israeli scientist interested in the theoretical possibility of time travel. In his university laboratory, Ari collaborates with American physicist Damien West. Building on Ari’s theoretical knowledge, Damien creates a wormhole that allows him to journey back to first century Jerusalem, a trip planned to coincide with Paul’s historic visit to that city. Damien’s desire is not to meet the apostle but to assassinate Paul before he spreads Christianity to the Gentiles. The scientist hopes his intervention will alter the course of Western civilization.

Incongruously, Damien seeks, by killing Paul, to destroy the very technology that allows him to traverse time. He believes Christianity is linked to the rise of Western civilization and to the development of modern science, both of which he disdains; therefore he must nip this religion in its infancy. Damien is an avowed atheist and a disciple of Theodore John “Ted” Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber. Kaczynski’s published manifesto, with its mandate to destroy technology and save the earth, appeals to the scientist’s own predilection for a return to an agrarian society where humans, without the aid of machinery, labor to survive.

Rivka becomes an unwitting pawn in Damien’s plan to alter history. Damien uses Rivka as a guinea pig to...

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(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Sources for Further Study

Ingermanson, Randall Scott. Who Wrote the Bible Code? A Physicist Probes the Current Controversy. Colorado Springs, Colo.: WaterBrook Press, 1999. The author of Transgression examines the theory that the Bible contains a code that can predict today’s events and concludes that such a code does not exist. Sheds light on his beliefs.

Mort, John. Review of Transgression. Booklist (June 1, 2000): 1854. Emphasizes the thriller’s clever blend of science, history, and theology. Provides commentary on the novel’s accurate and insightful rendering of events in first century Jerusalem, as well as its compelling storyline.

“Randall Scott Ingermanson.” Contemporary Authors Online. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale, 2006. Offers information about the author’s career and a synopsis of Transgression.

Salm, Arthur. “Laws of Physics Are on His Side.” The San Diego Union-Tribune, August 12, 2001, p. Books 6. An interview with the author that describes several of his works, including Transgression.