Pastor Stephen Grant?
Stephen Grant is the pastor at St. Mary’s Lutheran Church on eastern Long Island. Grant is one of the more unique second-career clergy around, as he once worked for the CIA. Besides theology, his interests include archery, golf, writing, classic films, the beach, poker, baseball, and history. Grant also knows his wines, champagnes and brews. Oh yes, he generally dislikes politicians, and happens to be an expert marksman with a handgun and a rifle, while being pretty handy with a combat knife as well.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
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Download Warrior Monk at
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Friday, November 14, 2014
I’m Ray Keating, the author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels – Warrior Monk, Root of All Evil?, An Advent for Religious Liberty, and The River (with another being written now!). I occasionally get asked about feedback and reviews on my books. Quite frankly, I’m always amazed and humbled that people – especially those I have never met – take the time to not only read my books, but offer reviews or comments. But there are five reviews/comments that I would like to quickly share with you for various reasons.
The first two comments below hit on something that I wanted to avoid when writing fiction with Christian themes, that is, some Christian fiction offer stilted dialogue and wooden characters. The third point came from a reviewer who, like Stephen Grant, went from working for the CIA to becoming a pastor. Hey, this guy, in a way, is Stephen Grant! The fourth was appreciated as it came from a reviewer who disagreed with many views of the main character, but still gave the book a thumbs up. And lastly, a reader summed up what I hope all readers experience.
1) From a pastor via an Amazon review: “It is a pleasure to recommend a book to my friends that promotes Christian virtues, is not stuffy, and is an exciting adventure.”
2) Another Amazon reviewer declared: “Keating has a gift for navigating the treacherous waters both worldly and denominational. If you are tired of the ham handed presentation of faith so easily found elsewhere, Keating might be just the thing.”
3) In a review in The Washington Times, Kenneth V. Blanchard, once with the CIA and now a pastor, noted, “Mr. Keating's storytelling is so lifelike that I almost thought I had worked with him when I was at Langley. Like the fictitious pastor, I actually spent 20 years working for the U.S. intelligence community, and once I started reading ‘The River,’ I had to keep reading because it was so well-crafted and easy to follow and because it depicted a personal struggle that I knew all too well. I simply could not put it down.”
4) In a four-star Goodreads review, a reader declared, “I should probably hate this book... The hero’s political and religious attitudes are conservative... Yet, the book was well written and a lot of fun to read. It was the literary equivalent of a James Bond movie - boy, does that show my age - I know what is happening is improbable to impossible, but it is SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
5) Finally, one reader made the following simple but generous statement on the Pastor Stephen Grant Novels Facebook page: “The whole series is just such fun!”
These comments mean a great deal to me, as do the many other reviews, comments and feedback that I have received. I’m going to keep on writing, and I’d love to keep hearing from each of you. Thanks and God bless.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
A great 4-star review at Amazon on The River: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel by Ray Keating:
"Ray Keating's Stephen Grant is an orthodox Lutheran pastor with a twist, he came to that career by way of the Seals and the CIA. In this fourth installment of the Grant saga, he has in-law problems of a higher order than most. No, he's not a Gnostic, he's a casino owner and developer in Las Vegas whose strained relationship with his daughter has kept this meeting firmly on the to do list until an invitation speak at a scholarly conference in Las Vegas kicks off the action. And the tension between the pastor and his past is more pronounced than ever. There is international intrigue, organized crime, a crisis in the home church with a green pastor on duty, and multidenominational spiritual support from Grant's buddies, a Roman Catholic Priest and conservative Episcopalian pastor. Keating has a gift for navigating the treacherous waters both worldly and denominational. If you are tired of the ham handed presentation of faith so easily found elsewhere, Keating might be just the thing."
Get the book at
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Ray Keating's SEAL/CIA agent turned LCMS Pastor, Stephen Grant, returns in The River. The danger Pastor Grant faces builds as much as his own backstory and that of his wife and her family. In the fourth installment of the Grant series he wrestles with life and death, specifically justice and revenge under the Fifth Commandment. I read this novel in preparation for a Lutheran Men's retreat here in the Wyoming District as a presenter discussing firearms, self defense,the Second Amendment and the Fifth Commandment, specifically the difference between "Thou shalt not kill" and "You shall not murder." The latter is the most accurate translation of the original Hebrew of Exodus 20. Imagine facing such decisions alongside Stephen Grant. Language is realistic given the situation's Grant's father-in-law lets his daughter and son-in-law get put in. Temptations abound. Ours is a messy, sinful world. Forgiveness and redemption in Christ is real. I pray my world will not be as dangerous and action-packed as Pr. Grant's adventures in Las Vegas. Enjoy the Christian-worldview-fiction of Ray Keating. Recommended!
Friday, November 7, 2014
Take a look at Ray Keating’s Pastor Stephen Grant Novels – WARRIOR MONK, ROOT OFALL EVIL?, AN ADVENT FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, and THE RIVER.
Keating has been called “a great novelist” by the host of KFUO’s “BookTalk” radio.
Marvin Olasky, editor-in-chief of WORLD magazine, lists Ray Keating among his top 10 Christian novelists.
Finally, in The Washington Times, a former CIA operative and current pastor declared, “What Ian Fleming’s 007 series has probably done for ex-MI-6 agents and Tom Clancy has done for retired CIA officers, Mr. Keating has done for the minority of former CIA agents who have served their country by working in the intelligence community, but now wish to serve God.”