Richard Louis Keller was born in Newark, NJ in 1955 and grew up in Middletown Township (NJ). He graduated from Montclair State College in 1978 with a degree in Broadcasting. Rich gave his life to Christ in 1979. Since his conversion he has spent time ministering for the Lord in various capacities. God gave Rich the gift of communication. He uses that gift by writing a daily devotional blog and has had two other books published.
Q: Thank you for this interview, Rich. Can you tell us what your latest book, Man’s Rejection of God: Who’s Responsible?, is all about?
A: It’s a book that has a little bit of everything in it. I define various groups, such as atheists and agnostics; delve into the cult of personality and the psychology of minimalism and individualism; it compares the three main world religions to Christianity and much more in an effort to determine whose fault it is that people reject God. Since Christians believe man has been given a free will, we can’t take all the blame; however, the inconsistency with which we live our faith provides a convenient excuse for non-believers to turn away from God. In the end, I call all Christians to take a hard look at themselves in the mirror to determine how much like Jesus they really are. We must assess and continually reassess our walk with God so that we become less of a reason for others to walk away.
Q: How did you come up with the idea?
A: I see Christians all around me struggling with their faith. This is my way of allowing God to use me to encourage and edify them so that they can re-energize their walk with Christ and be everything God intended them to be. In all my books I attempt to educate believers in areas where they may be lacking, show them how much they are loved by God and give them something important to think about in the process.
Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?
A: I get an idea of what I want to write and fill in the blanks as I go. What I mean by that is that I add quotes, scripture verses, and background information as I am writing the text of the book. Any research I might have done in the past has been saved on thumb drives so I can draw from it as I go along. I use the Internet to access just about any research tool I might need, from online dictionaries, encyclopedias, bible text or any other historical information. Before I know it the book is complete.
Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?
A: I wish my readers to realize that our walk with Christ isn’t meant to be a struggle, but rather an exciting adventure. If we can step back and take a look at who God truly is and who we are in light of that, we may just get the jump-start we need to revitalize a sagging relationship. And that’s what this walk with God is, a personal relationship with a living God.
Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?
A: [From Chapter 11 – Consequences; p.113, par.2 thru p.114, par.2.]
There was a purpose for each event in history that has taken place just as there is a reason for what takes place now. I don’t pretend to know the mind of God in all matters; I just know that things happen in life and we don’t know all the details. There are facts that are unknown to us. All we know is what the history books tell us and the media spoon feeds us. I do know this though: it’s a messy, bloody world we live in. Things that are wrong are made to seem right and vice versa. Sins are committed against God every day and the ultimate consequence of those sins is death unless a blood sacrifice is made on behalf of the offender. That blood sacrifice was made when Jesus Christ willingly shed His own blood to cleanse all of mankind of their sins. It must be understood that forgiveness isn’t freely doled out to everyone arbitrarily; we must ask for forgiveness in faith believing to be cleansed.
There is no doubt that Christ was a lightning rod for controversy during His life and still is today? Could it be because His teachings contradicted the teachings of the religious leaders of His day? When you deal with people you are dealing with egos, control and power. Jesus was stripping some of that away from the religious leaders and they took exception to it; so much so that they wanted Him dead. That seems like an extreme way to rid themselves of their perceived problem. They didn’t think about the consequences that would result from Christ’s death. Christ knew exactly what the consequences were as a result of His obedience to God’s plan. They spelled death for Him. The disobedience of all mankind was to be removed by the obedience of one man. Man’s disobedience resulted in millions of sins down through the ages past and present. The weight of these sins must have been enormous. I feel heaviness from the weight of conviction for one sin that I haven’t sought forgiveness for; can you imagine the heaviness Christ felt when He hung on the cross?
The life that we choose to live on this earth is essentially what we make it. We can take a good path or a bad path. We can skate along the fine line that differentiates legal from illegal, right and wrong. We can live Godly lives or follow the path to who knows where. Each decision we make in this life comes with consequences.
Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today? How did you do it?
A: I had my book self-published, which means I paid Westbow Press to publish the book for me. It is my hope that I will someday be picked up as a contract author for a publishing house such as Thomas Nelson or Zondervan.
Q: What’s a typical day like for you?
A: I rise in the morning, have breakfast, tend to the dogs, write my daily devotional for my Bread of Life Blog, post an entry on my Author Blog, then either touch up a teaching, write on my new book, design marketing items, change up the home page on my ministry website, or numerous other things that need to be tended to. I’m at the laptop much of the day. I might take the dogs for a walk if the weather permits or watch a documentary on an important event in American History. In between all that I eat lunch and make sure I’m not forgetting anything.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I have book signings coming up in NJ at all three Jesus Book & Gift Stores in May. Consult my website’s Scheduled Events page for details. I am putting together a speaking tour for the churches of New Jersey for 2014-15 and have just begun writing my 4th book tentatively titled Stark Raving Obedience.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Rich. We wish you much success!
A: Thank you for the opportunity, I appreciate it very much.