A former missionary kid in Indonesia, Ted Dekker has sold more than 500,000 copies of 12 suspense novels, with titles such as Red, Black, White, and When Heaven Weeps. He turned to Christian fiction writing after a career in buying and selling businesses. Dekker has just produced his first work of nonfiction: The Slumber of Christianity: Awakening a Passion for Heaven on Earth (Nelson Books, 2005). CT senior associate news editor Stan Guthrie interviewed him.

Why did you get into writing? Wasn't your business career satisfying?

I always made a lot of money. Writing wasn't about making money. I wanted to find fulfillment in writing and telling stories, and that's what's driven me. I went from making a lot of money to making nothing. I was 34 at the time, and I was starting from scratch.

Did you have a writing background?

I studied philosophy, religious studies, and English. My training was writing four full-length novels and hiring an editor to tear them apart. I had enough money to do that, and then rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. And then sending them off, sending them off, sending them off through an agent until finally I had something like four offers from four different publishers in the same month.

Now you have written The Slumber of Christianity. Is it more or less satisfying to just come out and say something in a nonfiction format rather than try to weave it into a larger fictional story?

Less satisfying, because story is truth that is brought to life by real characters. Fiction is truer than nonfiction. The characters are going to test that truth in their lives. I think that's why Jesus used stories a lot. The principles in The Slumber of Christianity about the search for happiness, pleasure, suffering will make ...

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