The book, released by Liberty Island Media, debuted Monday
In “Mad Jones, Heretic,” Hillyer unravels the story of a grief-stricken modern-day Martin Luther who posts religious theses on Gulf Coast church walls and attracts instant controversy, setting up a satirical tale of modern religion, media and politics.
Meet Mad Jones, a high school history teacher who, in the midst of unspeakable tragedy, literally nails religious theses to church doors. He does so with no expectation that they will be taken seriously, or even widely read—but, in this age of modern electronic communications and instant celebrity, young Madison Jones very quickly develops a large following and engenders significant levels of controversy. The media, quite typically, misunderstand and misrepresent his ultimate message; religious leaders debate his theses, at times with ulterior motives; and soon politicians are jumping in to comment from whichever standpoint best fits their partisan purposes.
Mad Jones, Heretic delivers sharp satire on modern religion, politics, and media, all at the same time, along with insightful representations of the vagaries of today’s celebrity culture and the lunacy of Internet comment threads. Controversies surrounding race and sexual morality enter in as well. Additionally, its setting at the end of the 20th Century, in the midst of the Y2K computer scare, provides the perfect vehicle to dissect millennialist themes as well.
Underlying all of this are some very serious theological reflections, woven naturally through a plot filled with sympathetic and memorable characters. Ultimately, true character—both good and bad—reveals itself, and both faith and human decency are tested once again. Grace and redemption, though, are always possible.
Hillyer, a Contributing Editor of National Review magazine, a Senior Editor for The American Spectator magazine, and a nationally recognized authority on the American political process — will be doing readings and book signings in a number of cities. The first will be Thursday night, Nov. 9 at Page and Palette bookstore in Fairhope, Ala..