FREE WILL COVER STORY
It is always fun thinking up covers for my books,
and it’s even more fun shooting them.
For this cover, I wanted to show what an honest
free-will-believing Christian would look like. He has just come from
the altar call; has has just chosen Christ; he has just saved
himself from an eternity of separation from God—so what’s he going
to do? Wouldn’t this be a bigger personal victory than winning the
Super Bowl? Then act like it! Be honest! Why act all humble when you
just managed to believe yourself into God’s presence for eternity?
There was no way I was going to be the coverboy
for this book. I only play good guys, you see. I have a clause in my
contract that says I never have to portray a standard,
run-of-the-mill, government-issue Christian. (Another clause—a very
helpful one—allows me to take advantage of my friends.)
What I needed was a big, strong guy. I needed an
honest face with a sincere mind in a footballer’s body. Mike Telep!
Mike hosts a regular Bible study in the Cleveland
area and, in fact, was a college football star (a tight end) at
Columbia University. I was coming to one of the Bible studies at his
home, and I called Mike to ask him if I could make a proud,
self-saving Christian out of him. I knew he’d say yes, and he did.
Mike believes in the sovereignty of God. He knows
he has no free will. He knows that God will become all in all. But
he could not resist the fame and glory of posing for a Martin Zender
Besides all the usual Bible study essentials, I
came to Mike’s house armed with a blue bedsheet and my digital
camera. Before the study began—while the coffee was still gurgling—I
tacked the sheet up in a doorway of Mike’s house and asked him to
assume several embarrassing poses. Mike posed like a true champion,
and after several tries I finally got the shot that you see on the
I’m including some of the photos here that I
didn’t use, as well as the one I did. (I removed my tacked-up
background in Photoshop and replaced it with a plain blue
background.) Also, I’m introducing you to a few of the people who
attend this unusual Bible study.
You’re a good sport, Mike.
Next time, you can be the good guy.
Click here for PHOTOS