November 13, 2001


Author stirs controversy with Billy Graham

TORONTO - One of the most vocal critics of American Evangelicalism is coming to the YMCA Auditorium on Grosvenor Street on November 24. Author and free-lance Bible scholar Martin Zender will deliver three lectures here on Saturday, from noon until four. Zender is the author of How to Quit Church Without Quitting God, to be published in the spring by Starke & Hartmann, Inc. 
      Rallying religious malcontents beneath his slogan, "Believe in God no matter what the clergy say,", Zender exposes the clergy for, among other things, their vacillating stance on the topic of evil. "We look to our clerical leaders for answers, but they only dispense contradictions," Zender says. "Their inability to comfort us deeply is deeply showing right now. They are theologically naked." Zender has most notably criticized the Reverend Billy Graham for his "shoulder-shrugging befuddlement" in the wake of the September 11 terror. "Reverend Graham suggests we should be at peace," Zender says, "but he can’t assure us that God has a handle on current events. He’s not sure of it himself. So where’s the peace?"
      Zender’s series is boldly titled, "Evil Solved."
      Martin Zender has been an essayist with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and his writings have appeared, to critical acclaim, in the Chicago Tribune and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is a humorist, lecturer and radio personality, having hosted the controversial talk radio show Grace Café on station WCCD in Cleveland, Ohio.
      Admission to the lectures is free. The event is sponsored by Starke & Hartmann, Inc.