Pope Barnabas is an incredibly gifted man. Or are these gifts just evidence of subtle brain damage from an auto accident? Either way, his passion to provide the best possible pastoral care for his worldwide flock can only be described as ‘saintly’.
Or would ‘psychotic’ be more accurate?
Winning hearts and minds over to the Catholic Church is difficult but Barnabas is marching from one success to the next with apparent invincibility. What will happen when he is confronted with a situation that proves beyond even his genius? What will that pressure do to a man who has never failed at anything?
An archaeological dig in Palestine unearths a document. But this is a document with a difference! Could this be one of the ‘eye-witness accounts’ that Luke used when writing his Gospel?
Then an ambiguity in the document provides another archaeologist with a hint. He discovers a skeleton, the oldest yet discovered buried with a Christian text. And beneath that skeleton is another, which might or might not be the skeleton of Jesus.
This does not happen in a vacuum. Christians of all persuasions, Muslims, Israelis, archaeologists, atheist politicians, all try to bend the evidence to suit their own agendas.
What is the truth here? Or is ‘Truth’ the most elusive agenda of them all?
Earth civilisation is falling apart under the impact of Climate Change. In desperation, a European Union starship is sent out on a mission to find Earthlike planets and leave humans there, genetically-modified to suit their new environment.
Erde is one such planet. What started as at the level of stone-age tools develops into a sophisticated technology over the course of centuries. Different settlements develop different cultures, they meet each other and learn to live with each other – not always peacefully. But then their archaeologists discover something shocking. All those old legends about The Creators are true!
The Erdans know that they are the creation of a space-faring species that seeded their planet with their First Parents. They have known this as a scientific fact for almost three hundred years, and ever since then they have been listening to the stars for the faintest hint of intelligent life around other stars.
But the sky remains stubbornly silent. What are they to do?
If the Creators could do it, then so can we! The planet adopts a project of immense difficulty; to journey to other stars, and there to meet the Creators. Or at least, other sister-races left by the Creators.
What they find overturns everything they ever believed. It also gives them something else, even more profound, to believe.
Generations have passed since the Argo left Erde. Their mission was to find their Creators. Now their task is to take their discoveries back home.
They have become accustomed to their new world-view. They have forgotten how scandalised their ancestors were by their discoveries. Therefore, they don’t realise what effect those discoveries will have on the folks back home.
This is a return that will be much more hazardous than the original mission itself. But with risk comes reward.