A big shout out to my friend Shari Stauch of Main Street Reads Indy bookstore here in Summerville for referring this author to me. Matt Loveland will have a book signing there 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Loveland wrote “The Artist: Faith, Science and the Rest of Us” which is a pretty self-explanatory title. A native of Aiken, Matt has lived in Charleston for six years.
Regan: How did this book come to pass?
Loveland: I volunteered for the youth ministry Young Life in college and I kept having students get tripped up on the science and logic aspects of Christianity as they did not feel like those were questions they were “allowed” to ask.
The more I studied the topic, the more I realized there were no simple books on it. People did not know about it because they had never been told. I wrote this book to begin people of all ages on a journey to discover God as an artist who made them out of love.
The whole process has been such a rush and I have been so blessed at every turn. It is crazy looking in hindsight at all the pieces God moved into place for me to be able to write this book and see it get published.
R: Is this semi-autobiographical? What genre is this, non-fiction or a memoir?
L: It is non-fiction, but I like to tell stories — many of them personal — to convey the truth.
In youth ministry, I tried to never just talk at people, I wanted to talk with them. The same thing when I teach, speak at events, etc. I write the way I talk, and I like to think of this book as something of a conversation.
R: Where do you stand in your beliefs in terms of looking at the world from a “religious” versus “science” lens or do you have a broad perspective considering both sides?
L: Oh, man-great question. That’s just it: I do not see it as a choice to be made. I think God is the great scientist. That we were purposefully created is a scientific fact.
As I wrote in my book, I think the Bible supports an old earth (14 billion years) theory of how God got us from Adam to email is more than a six-day creation.
I think that’s a huge issue. Some churches give people the impression they have to believe in Jesus and a whole “scientific” and political agenda. I say stick with Jesus. If my book helps, then great. If not, forget it.
R: What do you want readers to learn from it?
L: Three things: 1. That God made you, the reader, on purpose and for a reason. 2. That an old earth (14 billion years) is more biblical than a young one (6,000 years). 3. That we don’t need to agree on number two to agree on number one. For anyone whose hackles go up at my saying that, I just want to encourage them to do their own research.